Skip to main content

Full text of "The geology and mineral resources of the Buller-Mokihinui subdivision, Westport division"

See other formats










To nrrompariy Btill^ti».N°17. BzilUr-MohihiTuxi SnhdtriMon.. WrMport Bivi^i .on-. Nelson LajuHDusU-tct . 

/--\ ina!^gae uJ: 




n/ 1 / 

^-. \ 


\, \ 




V ^^i 

Berlin! BluFT. , 

-4 / . 


^1/ W 


( r'/L. 

y^ j' Edges cfBuBh 

•-*C-.^">^~\ s,^.' Swranp 





Scale of Chain s 

1 ° I-* 1-^1-1 I-? °£ — T 

Reference to Geolo g ical Colours and S itns - 

. C @»8f(' 

O^rripXtd from, data Avantd frmi a\e Lands and S\jr^ Batartrrumh , WizlerUdla ttnd Di 
id from additional surveys hyFGMar^an..JABartnimfBSWfu^hx7m Shafts and Drive, 
■the Gfah>gical Survey Branch oftiur Mines Departmenl. Crests QfltijIyPs ^ 

Geology hy ?(i Morton, ^ J A'Bfxrir-unv 

WaterfbZlt and Dams 


'fltijlyps ^ Saddhis- 

Newer fluvlBlilo and marlriB fra.ali _ 

Older fludalDe and marina graveli. 



Oamiru Series. 

Middle bede,— Limestone, clsjilont, »rn) sandilone ..- 

'■°""''*''H^*b™i,r<;oll'wd^ll^iir'' ""''°'""'"*' """j 
Bltumlnoui Coal Miaiurti (Utmhertitui Sirlei). 

Brunncp faedil^'"'**- ■■'■<1)<0'>*>, tnd irlli. with co&l ienmt ; 1 
I conglomeralo. ( 

iBftcolB and breccln-coneiomerste, wllhi 
Hiwk'i Crag brtcoll minor amourU of conglomerate, grit.f 

jOreruMVe, argllllle, hornlelg, lohlits. do 









Bailo dikei _ 

dykei (other th»n qutrli- porphyry). 

Qmrl7 and granll*. porphyry. 

Granite «nd gfanodiorlto 


Oulcropi with obieriid Blrlde and dip ■^^"^ 

Outoropi tilth no obiented strilte and dip. + 

OultrOpi or gfielsi \ *«*• 

Outcfopt of breccia.--- '^a'^ 

Outoropt a' eoal '' •■ 

Faulla _ -r-'C^^-r^ 

Compiled and drarmfyG ESarrit,J3f 4 

To accompany BvlJetin.N^17. BuUer-MnMhimii SubdiriMoTi^. Wesbport Division. Nelson Land, District. 



■ Scale of Chedns 

I I— I I— r~^=r 

I 63360 

— Reference to Geolo g ical Colours and Si gns 

Newer fluviatile and marine graveli 

PLEISTOCENE Q^g^ fluviatile and marine gfaveli 

Oamaru Series. 

Upper beds.— Clayetone and snndstone. 

Middle beds. — Limestone, olaystone, and sandstone — 

Lower bedsp""?",""'' «"'■,""'!' lu"!! «™el»'""«"^' 
I With brown coal and ligrlte. 



Acidic dykes (other than quartz-porphyry). 

Quartz and granite-porphyry 



* None in this district. 

Outcrops with observed strike and dip 

Outcrops with no observed etrilte and dip.-.. 

Outcrops of gneiss. 

Outcrops of coal _ _ *^' 

Faults.-- - 


Rocuds shown, thus 


TrigorwTnetriccii Stations. 

Edges of Bush 


Water lUices 

Tram Lines 

Waterfalls and Dams 

SJtafts and I>rives 

Gold. Workincfs 

Compiled' from, dccta, supplied ty the Lands and 
3urv^ Department, and from, adxittioTiaZ surveys 
by ESWhltehcfm.. JABartrimv. and P. QMargan,, of 
the Geolofficat Survey Bronchi of the Mines Dep-- 
Qeology by JABartrurrv arid PQ-Morgajn,. 

Compded and drtam by G-KBhrris. 1914i 

Jl, acmTnpoJiy »,//«ui Jf!'// Bulla -Mokthlntd S:,ljMyl.,im, . Wc^ljml, SLVi^^lon, Nelson Lri,„l DisO-U 


T< ' 







Scale of Chains 


TVacAs „ _ _ „_ '■■ 

TriiffinjimtiO-Ual Slatlmta „ „ - C ©iB^i' 

Edt/esorBush „ _ _ „_ -^'-'^n^rtv^ 

Swamp „ „_ TL?%1.-*' 

Water Races ,i h- -JB-*-- — 

TramLiT^ .. - - » 

Wclernilla and Dams „ _ _ „ .^-t^ 

CretU of' Ruizes. tmd Sadd/ca-- ^-■i^^OG^'^ 

Boreholes „ ... © 

Baiaidariea oT Cbal Leases - „ o 

Bouitdary ofBuHer CaaUield^ _ ., ,^ 

— Reference to Geolo g ical Colours and S i^ns — 





,«.,„„„.,... ._ [Z= 


t d,kc> 



\ B 1 

to dike 

\ A 1 





r c 



ArtaiaTcoU worWor belni 

and ftxjm additional surveys byPCMorgan.JABarVumfksmuMuirn, 
cf the Gtological Surety BmncK of the Mines DtparCmcnt 
Geology ly PqMbryun^JABa^-uj,^ 


AJ @ Mt Stockton 


r\ '°^v 


\ \ (- 





>.. r 



^,A •*■• 



> \ 

</J '^>^ 



\ ^ 





f 1^ 



Mv fJ> \ \\ 

I r"^ 





i%H::v: (^ 



















^^ ' ' ill ^'« 

■«* i 

Oy<-/t , 





^' --^1^^ ...# ; 

// /■■■ ii: I 

—f! / St J Mil. ...-/ 

"P^r # y ■■■-"': ' 

(/ f V V^-^^ ■ ■■•••/ ^ 

%-jnl ^' 



7 / Jf .'M V^i- 

.-" #^ 



¥^ .,(<,'«•' 


^, \. 

To a^<M7npaiiy Bnllea».KVt7. BiiJbir-Mnkihiniii Suhdi yjsiojc . Wesl.porf. Pi yision Wclson LoiiJ DistrLct 

To octMrnfiany BiiUeUii. N'^17. BiMei-MolrifUmU Subdiytsiofv. Westport Di viswn JfcUon Land Di-itr-ict- 

rttT 1000 


■ Natural Scale - 

5 0; g About lOO'i/ravch c 

ftjssrb/e bituminotis cos/ measures ' "'' ' ,^r / 

Section alon| Line EF. N q akawau, Orikaka.& Lyell Survey Districts . 

Kawatiri. N g akawau & Orikaka Survey Districts 

Section alon g Line IJ. Steeples Survey District. 

Section alon ^ .Line JK. Ohika Survey District. 

— Reference to Geolo g ical Colours and Si gns — 

(Newer fluviatile and marine gravels, ^ 
Older fluviatile and maplne gravelB. 
Fluvio-glacial gravela. J 

IOamaru Series. 
Upper beds.— Clajetone and sandalone.. __ 
Middle beds.— Limestone, olaystone, and sandstone.. _ 

1-^-. i,oHol8s"<l8tone, grit, shale, and conglomerate, with 
[ "^" °^°^ 1 bpown ooal and lignite. 

BituminouB Coal Measures (Mawheranui Series). 

ind sandstone; limestone; 

■ Brunncr teaJSHalM. s»"d»to™«. >nd e'ita, with coal 8Mms ; 

1 oonglomapate, 

I Breccia and breccia-conglomerate, with 
minor amounta of conglomerate, grit, 
sandstone, and shale. 

ORDOVIOIAK \*""=S>rl„. 
(IN PART OLDER?) I j^j^jjIjj^ arglllite. hornfels. schists, 


I Quartz and granite-porphyry 

POST-ORDOVICIAN ^ Qpanlte and granodlorite. 

Gneiss. . 

Coal seams. 


•:< ) ff 



i?/ --ML 





i/T ^/^ 

ChaXttrrbox gk ) 

PaUen Criet., 

rgi_»5^ "^JfeS^ff'Sl."'" 


\ ^W 


,.^'^ ' 


V B 

Creek Jl "v"**^*,. 

'I .■^- 



\k' / 


^\ N? 






/ i\ 





^AI^ F 


-St- Cfec 



''■^^ <Sfo-, 




^epavtvnent of /^^ \»\ of 'gtTwes 


, (P. G. MORGAN, Director.) /T)E" 

BULLETIN No. 17 (New Series). ^^ ^.7 











Geological Survey Office, 

Wellington, ISth March, 1915. 


I have the honour to submit herewith Bulletin No. 17 (New Series) 
of the Geological Survey Branch of the Mines Department. 

This bulletin forms a comprehensive report on the geology and mineral 
resources of the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision, which includes the whole of 
the Buller coalfield, as well as less important mining-areas. It contains 
210 pages of letterpress, and is illustrated by a large number of plates, figures, 
maps, and sections. 

The geological field-work in connection with this report was done mainly 
by the senior author. For several months Mr. J. A. Bartrum, Assistant 
Geologist, was in the field, and some assistance was also given by Dr. J. 
Henderson and Mr. R. P. Worley. Mr. Henry Suter made most of the 
specific determinations of fossils, but a few are by Dr. J. Allan Thomson 
and others. Mr. H. S. Whitehorn, Assistant Topographer, is responsible 
for much of the topographic detail, and the maps are the work of Mr, G. E. 
Harris, Draughtsman to the Survey. 

Though the greater part of the bulletin was written by myself, several 
important sections were compiled by Mr. Bartrum. Owing to the latter's 
resignation from the Geological Survey staff in January, 1913, the revision 
of the manuscripts and proofs fell to my lot. I am, therefore, entirely 
responsible for the form, and, in most cases, for the substance of all opinions 

I have the honour to be, 
Your obedient servant, 


Director, New Zealand Geological Survey, 
The Hon. W. Fraser, 

Minister of Mines, Wellington. 


Lbtteb of Transmittal 


Chaptbb I. — Gbnbbal Inboemation. 


Early History . . 

Field-work . . . . . . 

Plan of conducting Work 


Fauna and Flora 

Previous Geological and Topographical Ex 

plorations and Surveys 
Soil and Subsoil 



Inhabitants . . 

Means of Communication 


Primary Industries other than Mining 
(1.) Timber .. 

(2.) Agricultural and Grazing Industries 
(3.) Miscellaneous Industries utilizing Pri- 
mary Products . . 


Chapter II. — The Mining Industry. 


(1.) Alluvial Gold-mining 

General and Historical Account 

Hydraulic and Ground Sluicing 





" Fly-catching " 
(2.) Lode Mining 
(3.) Gold-production of the Westport District 
(4.) Coal-mining 

General and Historical Account 

Coal-mining Leases 

■BuUer Coalfield Reserve . . 

Mining Methods . . 

Transport on Main Roads 


(4.) Coal-mining — ■continued. 

Westport Coal Company's Denniston 

Collieries . . . . . . 38 

Westport Coal Company's Millerton 

Colliery .. .. ..38 

Westport-Stockton Coal Company's 

Mine . . . . . . . . 38 

Seddonville State Coal-mine . . 39 

Drainage . . . . . . 39 

Output of Coal . . . . . . 39 

Future Prospects of Coal-mining . . 42 

Conservation of Coal Resources . . 43 

Utilization of Friable Coal and Slack 45 

Coking . . . . . . . . 45 

Briquetting . . . . . . 45 

(6.) Rock-quarrying . . . . . . 46 

Chapter III. — Outlines ob Physiography and Geology. 


Physiography . . 

.. 47 

Introduction . . 

.. 47 

Main Surface Features 

.. 47 


.. 47 

Former Peneplanation 

.. 49 

Coastal Region 

.. 49 

Recent Coastal Plain 

.. 60 

Older Terraces bordering 

the Recent 

Coastal Plain 

.. 51 

Hilly Areas of Coastal 

Region west 


Lower Buller Fault 

, , 

.. 52 

Inangahua Oraben 

.. 52 

River-flats and Inland Terraces 

.. 53 


, , 

.. 53 

Physiography — •continued. 
Rivers — continued. 


Waterfalls . . 

Springs and Underground Watercourses 

Lakes and Ponds 


Shore-line . . 
Outline of Geology 
Sequence and General Structure of the 

Several Formations 
Table of Geological Formations 
Geological History 





[Facing 58 

.. 59 

Chapter IV. — Faults of the Area. 


Age of Faults . . 

Faulted Blocks and Nature of Faulting 

Detailed Description of Faults 

Lower Buller or Kongahu Fault 

Glasgow Fault 

Mount William Fault 


Detailed Description of Faults — ■continued. 
Faults near Seddonville 
Faults of Denniston-Millerton Uplands 
Area East of Mount William Range 
Eastern Part of Ohika Survey District 
Hypothetical Seaward Fault . . 





Aorere Series . . 



. 67 

Age and Correlation . . 

. 67 

Distribution . . 

. 68 



Date of Folding 

. 69 



(1.) Argillites 

. 69 

(2.) Greywackes 

. 69 

(3.) Hornfels 


(4.) Schists 

. 70 



Bituminous Coal-measures (Mawheranui < 


Waimangaroa Series) 


Content and Subdivision 

. 71 

Conditions of Deposition 

. 72 


. 72 

Correlation . . 

. 73 


. 73 

Distribution . . 

. 74 

Structure . . . . 


Petrology and Genera] Account 

. 76 

(1.) Hawk's Crag Breccia 

. 76 


. 76 

(2.) Brunner Beds . . 

. 77 

(3.) Kaiata Beds 

. 78 


. 79 


. 79 


. 80 

Foraminifera . . 

. 80 

Anthozoa . . . . . 

. 80 


. 80 

Pelecypoda . . 

. 80 




. 81 


. 81 

Summary . . 


Oamaru Series . . 

. 82 

Content and Subdivision 

. 82 

Conditions of Deposition 

. 82 

Age and Correlation . . 


Distribution . . 

. 83 


. 83 

General Characters 

. 84 

(1.) Lower Oamaru Beds 

. 84 

Coal Pebbles in Oamaru Beds . 

. 85 


Oamaru Series— continued. 

General Characters — continued. 

(1.) Lower Oamaru Beds — continued. 

Unconformity between Bitumin- 

ous Coal-measures and Oamaru 


.. 87 

(2.) mddle Oamaru Beds . . 

.. 88 

(3.) Upper Oamaru Beds 

.. 89 


.. 90 


.. 90 


.. 90 

Anthozoa . . 

.. 90 


.. 90 


.. 90 


.. 90 


.. 91 


.. 91 


. 92 



Pleistocene Beds 

.. 93 

Fluvio-glacial and Morainic Gravels 

. . 93 

Fluviatile Gravels 

. . 94 

Marine and Fluvio - marine Grave 

Sands, &c.. . 

.' 94 

Recent Deposits 

. 96 

Igneous Rocks 

. 95 

Content and General Account . . 

. 95 

Distribution . . 

. 96 

Age and Correlation . . 

. 96 

Granite and Gneiss 

. 96 


. 97 

Acidic Dykes 

. 98 

Intermediate Igneous Rocks . . 

. 98 

Basic Dykes . . . . 


Petrography . . 

. 98 

I. The Granite Series and Associate 

Igneous Rocks. . 

. 98 

(1.) Granites 

. 99 

(2.) Gneissose Plutonic Rocks ar 



. 100 

(3.) Quartz-porphyries 

. 101 

(4.) Pegmatites and Aplites 

. 102 

(5.) Syenites 

. 102 

(6.) Quartz-diorites and Diorites 

. 103 

(7.) Dolerite 

. 104 

II. Lamprophyres . . 

. 104 

Analyses . . 

. 106 

Chemical Relationships 

. 106 

Chaptee VI. Economic Geology. 


Introduction . . . . . . . . 109 

Metalliferous Quartz Veins . . . . 109 

Origin of Metalliferous Quartz Veins . . 112 

Prospecting for Metalliferous Lodes . . 112 

Auriferous Alluvial Deposits .. .. 112 

I. Early Tertiary (Coal-measure) Con- 
glomerates and Breccias . . 112 
II. Pleistocene Alluvial Deposits . . 113 
(a.) Morainic and Fluvio-glacial Ma- 
terial .. ■ .. ..113 

(6.) Fluviatile Gravels and Sands (in- 
cluding Semi-residual Gravels) 113 
(c.) Marine Gravels and Sands (Raised 

Beaches) . . . . . . 114 

III. Recent Deposits . . . . . . 117 

(a.) Fluviatile Gravels and Sands .. 117 

(6.) Marine Gravels and Sands . . 119 

Unworked Auriferous Gravels and Sands. . 119 

Character and Quality of Alluvial Gold . . 120 

Source of Alluvial Gold . . . . 120 

Auriferous Alluvial Deposits — continued. 
Minor AUuvial Deposits 
Platinum and Osmiridium 
Mica . . 

Miscellaneous Economic Minerals. . 
Building-stones, &c. 

Road-making Material . . 
Limestones suitable for the Manufacture 
Lime and Cement . . 
Eocene Limestones 
Miocene Limestones . . 
Clays and Claystones 

Analyses . . . . , 

Testing Clays, &c. 





Chaptee VI. — 'EooNOMic Geology — continued. 


Bituminous or Humic Coal . . 
General Description 

Roof and Floor . . 
Physical Characters 

Ultimate Analyses 
Proximate Analyses 
Inflammability of Dust 
Influence of Weathering on Composition 

and Physical Characters . . 
Origin of Bituminous Coal . . 
Detailed Descriptions of Outcrops, &c 
(1.) SeddonviUe-Mokihinui District. 
(2.) Charming Creek Area 
(3.) Blackburn Area 
(4.) Mackley or Orikaka VaUey 
(5.) Valleys of Granity, Mine, and 
Mangatini Creeks, or MiUerton 
Darlington-Mangatini Area 
(6.) Fly Creek, Plover Creek, and 
Upper St. Patrick or " South 
Branch " Area 
(7.) Upper Waimangaroa Area 
(8.) Denniston-Cascade Creek Area 
(9.) Lower Waimangaroa Area 
(10.) Mount Rochfort Area 
(11.) Northern Part of Mount William 
Range and Head of Erin Creek 
(12.) Central and Southern Parts of 

Mount William Range 
(13.) Omanu (Back) Creek or Moran's 
Water-race Outcrop 
Coke and Briquettes 








Coal — continued. 

II. Brown Coal and Lignite 
General Description 
Physical Characters 
Chemical Composition 

Oi igin . . 
Detailed Description of Outcrops 
(1.) Charleston District 
(2.) Cape Foulwind and Taurang 

(3.) Thin Seams near Hawk', 

(4.) Blaokwater Valley 
(5.) Pensini Creek Watershed 
(6.) Blue Duck Creek 
" Doughboys " 
" Rolls " 
" Swallows " 
Coal in Ground 

I. Bituminous Coal 

Former Estimates 
Comment on Hector's Estimates 
Estimates of Present Survey 
Extractable Bituminous Coal 

II. Brown Coal and Lignite . . 
Coal-prospecting — -Bores, &c. . . 

Recommendations re Prospecting 

Westport Flats . . 

Brown-coal and Lignite Areas 
Summary of Economic Geology . . 






Appendix I. — List of Mineral Substances found in the BuUer-Mokihinui Subdivision 
Appendix II. — Corrigenda and Addenda 


Mean Monthly and Average Rainfall in Inches 
Gold exported from Westport or BuUer County, 1870-1913 
Yearly and Total Output of Bituminous Coal-mines 
Output of Coal, Year by Year, for District 
Production of Bituminous Coal-mines 
Geological Formations 

Norms and Quantitative Classification 
Limestone Analyses 

Analyses of Coal made in Dominion Laboratory 
Analyses of Coal-samples collected during Course of Geological 
Analyses of Miocene Coals . . 
Hector's Estimate of Proved Coal . . 
Approximate Estimate of Proved and Highly Probable Coal 






Facing 58 




















Westport Coal Company's Rope Road between Denniston and Burnett's Face. (Frontis 

Denniston in 1906 

Black-sanding at Rahui, near Charleston 
Black-sanding at Rahui 

Upper Part of Westport Coal Company's Incline, Granity to MiUerton 
Westport-Stockton Company's Lower IncUne 

Electric Locomotive bringing Race of Loaded Tubs from Westport-Stockton Mine 
View looking down Buher Gorge, below Berlin's.. 
Tiroroa Reach, Buller Gorge, between Hawk's Crag and Batty Creek 
" HlU cleft in Twain by the River Ngakawau " . . 

View of Waimangaroa Gorge, looking Westward from the Neighbourhood of Deep Creek 
View looking up Ohikanui River Valley from a Point near Junction of Stream with BuUer 
Southern End of Rahui Beach . . 
View looking up Tiroroa Reach, BuUer Gorge 
Hawk's Crag Breccia on Roadside, BuUer Gorge . . 
View from Top of D Incline, Westport-Stockton Mine 
View from Foot of D IncUne, Westport-Stockton Mine 
Burnett's Face Township 

Iron Trestle, Westport Coal Company's Haulage Road, Denniston 
Entrance to A Tunnel, Westport-Stockton Mine 
Coal-outcrop in C Section of Westport-Stockton Company's Lease 
Mangatini Bridge, between B and C Sections, Westport-Stockton Company's Lease 
View near Mouth of Ngakawau River . . . . . . 

1. Granite with Prominent MicrocUne, Road to Mokihinui Reefs 

2. Same Rock as 1 

3. Diorite from a Tributary of T 35 Creek 

4. Quartz-porphyry, Kiwi Creek 

1. Dolerite, New Inland Karamea Road 

2. Monchiquite, Rider Creek 

3. Hour-glass Augite in Lamprophyre (Monchiquite), near Mouth of Haggard Creek 

4. Hornfels, Mokihinui District . . 

Facing page 



. 30 

. 38 











Figures 1-18b, Ulustrating Coalfield Sections 

At end 


(1.) Map of New Zealand, showing Land Districts and Divisions . . . . 

(2.) Map of Westport Division, showing Survey Districts and Area geologioaUy surveyed . . 

(3.) Map showing Mining Leases, &c., Charleston 

(4. ) Plan of Mangatini Section, Westport Coal Company's MiUerton Mine, showing Coal- workings 

(5.) Geological Map of Mokihinui, Ngakawau, and Orikaka Survey Districts, and Part of LyeU 

Survey District 
(6.) Geological Map of Steeples and Kawatiri Survey Districts 
(7.) Geological Map of Waitakere Survey District 
(8.) Geological Map of Ohika Survey District 
(9.) Map of the BuUer Coalfield, showing Coal-bearing Areas and General Geology (in Four 

Sheets) . . . . . . . ■ . . . . . . ■ ■ . . . . ■ . . 

Facing page 





In portfoUo. 


(1.) Section on Line A B, Ngakawau and Mokihinui Survey Districts .. 

(2.) Section on Line C D, Kawatiri and Ngakawau Survey Districts 

(3.) Section on Line E F, Ngakawau, Orikaka, and LyeU Survey Districts 

(4.) Section on Line G H, Kawatiri, Ngakawau, and Orikaka Survey Districts 

(5.) Section on Line I J, Steeples Survey District 

(6.) Section on Line J K, Ohika Survey District 

Facing page 



In portfolio. 




O AO 80 

1 20 


Zand District Boundaries sTunvn thus ..-• 

:S^anies „ „ NELSON - 

Division, 3ou.ndaries „ ,, 

Names ,, „ KARAMEA 







BOOO.* 09. 3 IB. 

By Authority : John liackay, Govtmment Printer. 


C.PouIwind A 




Distrtcts dealt -withyiroS-u7Zetir>^2V^?/Z (xilxyured thzis L 
., „ „...„.previx>izshulZetirv -„ ., i 


I I I I I I I I I ' I - 















.. 1 

Inhabitants . . . . . . 6 

Early History- 

.. 2 

Means of Communication . . . . 6 

Field-work . . 

.. 2 

Scenery . . . . . . . . 8 

Plan of conducting Work 

.. 3 

Primary Industries other than Mining . . 9 


.. 3 

(1.) Timber .. .. ..9 

Fauna and Flora 

.. 3 

(2.) Agricultural and Grazing Indus- 

Previous Geological and Topoj 


tries . . . . . . 9 

Explorations and Surveys 

.. 4 

(3.) Miscellaneous Industries utihzing 

Soil and Subsoil 

.. 5 

Primary Products . . . . 9 


.. 6 


Literature . . . . . . . . 9 


The Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision forms part of the Westport Division, which is situated 
on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand, and is adjoined on the north 
by the Karamea, on the south by the North Westland Division. It lies wholly within 
Buller County, which is a portion of the old provincial district of Nelson, and includes 
the survey districts of Mokihinui, Ngakawau, Orikaka, Kawatiri, Steeples, and Waitakere, 
together with a small portion of Lyell Survey District. The subdivision is an irregularly 
shaped district with a length from north to south of forty-one miles, a width varying 
from four and a quarter to thirty-two miles, and a total area of approximately 590 
square miles. Its surface is one of varied relief, a lowland strip near the coast being 
backed by high mountainous country, cleft by the gorges of several large streams, pre- 
eminent among which is the Buller or Kawatiri, the largest river on the west coast of 
the South Island. Although forest covers much of the region, the treeless barren areas 
known as " pakihis " form a conspicuous feature of the landscape, especially near 

From an economic point of view the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision is noted for its 
deposits of high-grade bituminous coal, which for man ears have been actively mined 

1 — Buller-Mokihinui. 

by the Westport and other coal companies. Brown coal and lignite also occur in quan- 
tity. During the past fifty years or so some millions of pounds' worth of gold have 
been won from rich surface gravels, but the alluvial-mining industry has now greatly 
declined, and the present gold-production is only a small fraction of that which charac- 
terized the palmy days of 1866 or the immediately succeeding years. 

Among other natural resources of the subdivision are auriferous - quartz lodes, 
building-stones, cement-materials, brick-clays, and a few minerals of minor importance. 
A considerable amount of valuable timber still remains in the forests, but this asset is 
a diminishing quantity which will be almost exhausted before the close of another 

Early History. 

In December, 1642, Abel Jansen Tasman, shortly after he had first sighted New 
Zealand, sailed northward along the coast of the subdivision. In his journal he remarks 
unflatteringly that it seemed a barren land.* More than a century later. Cook, sailing 
northward from Dusky Bay, encountered a severe storm when off the conspicuous point 
to which his predecessor had given the name of Clippingen Hoek, but which the great 
English navigator, in memory of his experience, renamed Cape Foulwind. 

During the early part of the nineteenth century the west coast of the South Island 
was frequented by sealers, a party of whom is recorded as having been camped in 
1836 on the islets off Cape Foulwind known as the Three Steeples. | Between 1845 
and 1860 various explorers, including Charles Heaphy, Thomas Brunner, James Mackay, 
Alexander Mackay, and John Rochfort, traversed the coast-line and the Buller Valley. 
Gold, it is said, was first found by Rochfort's survey party at " Old Diggings," near 
Berlin's, in the year 1859. From this time onward search for gold on the banks of the 
Buller was more or less continuously made with some success. Attention having been 
turned to the coastal district, in a few years came the discoveries of rich alluvial gold 
at Charleston, Addison's, Giles Terrace, Fairdown, Mokihinui, &c. In 1859 and 1860 
Rochfort and von Haast made discoveries of bituminous coal.J The mining of coal 
began about 1863, but was prosecuted with little vigour or success until 1880, when 
the Westport Colliery Company, which two years later was reconstructed under the 
title of the Westport Coal Company, succeeded in bringing coal to market. Since then 
coal-mining has become the chief industry of the subdivision, a position it will hold for 
many years to come. 


Topographical field-work in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision began in January, 
1911, under the control of Mr. H. S. Whitehorn, Assistant Topographer, and continued 
until June, 1913, with the exception of the winter months of 1911 and 1912. In all, 
about twenty-three months were occupied in obtaining topographical data. Geological 
field-work was concurrently carried out by one or both of the writers of this bulletin. 
The senior author was in the field for about fourteen months between January, 1911, 
and May, 1913, but a considerable portion of his time was occupied with other work 
not connected with the survey of the subdivision. During a few weeks in January 
and February, 1911, he was assisted by Dr. J. Henderson, and for about three months 
in the summer of 1911-12 by Mr. R. P. Worley, M.Sc. The junior author of this 
bulletin was in the field for some four months of the 1912-13 season. 

* T. M. Hocken : " Abel Tasman and his Journal." Trans., vol. xxviii, 1896, pp. 128-129. 

f This name in its French form (Trois-Clochers) was probably first used by Dumont D'UrviUe (January, 
1827). See S. P. Smith : " Captain Dumont D'Urville's Exploration of Tasman Bay in 1827." Trans, vol. xl, 
1908, p. 419. The reference to the sealers will be found in " The Handbook of New Zealand Mines " (P. Galvin), 
pt. i, 1887, p. 95. 

J The first recorded coal discovery was made by Heaphy and Brunner near the Waitakere in 1846. See 
Literature, p. 10, and Coal- mining, p. 31. 

Except during the first few months of 1911, bad weather prevailed throughout the 
survey, and was the cause of much loss of time. Work was also retarded by a 
series of mishaps to members of the party, due chiefly to the rough nature of the 
country that had to be traversed. 

Plan of conducting Work. 

Field-work was based upon maps, drawn on a scale of 1 in. to 20 chains, supplied 
by the Lands and Survey Department, Nelson, and embodying all data that could be 
obtained from the available records. For a great part of the subdivision these maps, 
invaluable though they were as a foundation for subsequent work, lacked necessary 
detail, and numerous supplementary surveys were executed in order to furnish materials 
for a topographic map on which the geology could be accurately placed. Although 
a few of the smaller watercourses were merely pace-traversed, nearly all the numerous 
streams and tracks were surveyed by prismatic compass and chain. These traverses 
were checked to some extent by cross-bearings from a theodolite, which was also oc- 
casionally used as a tacheometer in open country. Rainy and cloudy weather, however, 
prevented full use of the theodolite being made, so that in some cases the heads of 
streams and other points obtained by compass -work are not so accurately fixed as is 


The assistance given by the Lands and Survey Department in connection with the 
topographical maps has already been mentioned. Without these maps accurate geo- 
logical mapping would have been impossible until costly surveys had been made. All 
the analyses and assays appearing in this report, except a few expressly stated as 
derived from other sources, were made by Dr. J. S. Maclaurin, Dominion Analyst, and 
his staff, to whom the special thanks of the Geological Survey are due for the valuable 
nature of the chemical data supplied. Through the courtesy of mine-managers, land- 
surveyors, and others, much additional information of value was obtained. Among 
those who thus assisted may be mentioned Messrs. Frank Reed, I. A. James, J. Newton, 
F. H. Chamberlain, J. C. Brown, W. Dunn, A. G. Marshall, Thomas Thompson, R. A. 
Young, C. N. Greenland, H. Sharp, Julius Schadick, Sydney Fry, and J. Bradley. 

Fauna and Flora. 

The fauna of the Westport Subdivision resembles that of other parts of the west 
coast of the South Island, and need not be described at length. The weka {Ocydromus 
australis) is now everywhere scarce, but in the mountain-valleys the grey kiwi {Apteryx 
oweni) is comparatively plentiful. The call of the kakapo (Stringopn habroptilus) was 
heard in the Ohikanui Valley, but the bird itself was not seen, and is evidently far 
from common. Other forms of bird life are moderately abundant in portions of the 
forested areas. The presence of numerous seals on the islets off Cape Foulwind known 
as The Steeples deserves mention. Among introduced animals the opossum is now 
becoming plentiful on the Paparoa Range. A few red deer may be found on the 
slopes of Mount Rochfort and near Addison's. Trout are to be seen in the main 
streams and most of their tributaries, but of more importance in its season is the inanga 
or native whitebait. 

The forest flora of the Westport district resembles that of other parts of western 
Nelson, but the vegetation of the pakihis, whilst in most respects similar to that of 
swampy moorlands in other parts of Nelson and in Westland, presents several pecu- 
liarities. A few' years ago Mr. W. Townson thoroughly explored the district from a 

1* — BuUer-Mokihinui. 

botanical point of view,* and discovered a number of new species, most of which were 
described by Mr. T. F. Cheeseman. Since then the district has been visited by Dr. L. 
Cockayne and Dr. D. Petrie. Collections made by the senior writer of this bulletin have 
been examined by Mr. Cheeseman and by Dr. Petrie. As a result of all observations, 
between twenty-five and thirty plants, including two or three new species, have been 
added to the flora as listed by Townson.f 

Previous Geological and Topographical Explorations and Surveys. 

Few of the provincial papers, in which are generally to be obtained the best and 
in many cases the only accounts of the adventurous journeys of the early explorers, 
are accessible to the authors. The earliest exploration recorded in the available litera- 
ture is that of Charles Heaphy and Thomas Brunner, surveyors employed by the New 
Zealand Land Company, who in 1846 made their way from Nelson to West Wanganui, 
and thence travelled along the coast to the Arahura River. Near the mouth of the 
Waitakere the explorers found coal (lignite). Ini 1847 Brunner revisited the district. 

John Rbchfort, a surveyor employed by the Nelson Provincial Government, in 1859 
was at work on a survey of the Buller River. He had previously journeyed overland 
from Nelson to the mouth of the Grey River, whence he had made his way along the 
coast to where Westport now stands. As already mentioned, gold was discovered in the 
subdivision by his expedition. Rochfort found bituminous coal in the Waimangaroa 
Valley, and also recorded various facts of geological interest. 

The first exploration by a geologist was that of Julius von Haast, who in 1860 
followed James and Alexander Mackay's inland route from Nelson to the West Coast, 
and, after reaching the sea by way of the Grey Valley, returned to Nelson along the 
coast-line. His topographical and geological observations in the Buller district formed 
a basis for the work of Messrs. J. Burnett and J. Blackett, who in 1862 and 1863 
respectively were sent by the Nelson Provincial Government to survey the coalfield 
discovered by von Haast between Mount Rochfort and Mount WUliam. Their reports 
were of value in directing attention to the great possibilities of the Buller coalfield. 

The main foundation of the geology of the coalfields was laid by Hector, who 
early in 1867 traversed the coast-line from south to north, and in subsequent years 
made further examinations of various portions of the coal -bearing areas. The results 
of his explorations were published in an " Abstract Report on the Progress of the 
Geological Survey of New Zealand " (1867), a " Report on the Coal-mines in the Western 
District of the Province of Nelson " (1872), and in various later reports. 

In 1873 a complete investigation of the Buller coalfield planned by Sir James 
(then Dr.) Hector in conjunction with the Public Works Department was set in hand. 
W. M. Cooper made a detailed topographical survey of the greater part of the bitu- 
minous coal-bearing area, the result of which was embodied in a series of excellent 
maps published between 1875 and 1878. Reports upon the coal-outcrops, by R. B. 
Denniston, who was attached to Mr. Cooper's party as " coal-viewer," appeared in 1875 
and 1877, and contain many valuable observations. Further reports by S. H. Cox, who 
partly supervised the operations of Cooper and Denniston, and paid two brief visits 
to the coalfield, were published in 1875 and 1876, in appendices to the Public Works 
Statements, and were reprinted in 1877 in the Geological Survey reports. 

In the early part of 1874 Alexander McKay collected fossils in the Mokihinui 
district and at Cape Foulwind. He also made collections from the Miocene rocks 
near Inangahua Junction, and at Brighton, a few miles south of Charleston, both 

* W. Townson : " On the Vegetation of the Westport District." Trans, vol. xxxix, 1907, pp. 380-433. 
t See papers by D. Petrie and T. F. Cheeseman in Trans., vol. xlvi, 1914, pp. 21, 29-30, 33, 35, &c. 

localities somewhat outside the boundaries of the subdivision. McKay's comments upon 
the geological relations of the rocks in and near the subdivision are most valuable. 

From 1877 to 1911 very little geological work was done in the Buller-Mokihinui 
Subdivision, although Hector, and more especially McKay, made a number of brief 
visits to the district, and it is frequently mentioned in the reports of the last-named 
geologist. Other workers who have visited the subdivision and contributed to its 
geological literature are A. D. Dobson (1874, 1875), F. W. Hutton, and Dr. William 
H. Gaze. 

Soil and Subsoil. 

The character of the various soils in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision is every- 
where determined by easily explainable geological factors. The river flats usually 
have a fairly fertile though light soil • of some depth, formed mainly of silt underlain 
by uncemented gravel, which allows of good drainage. Near the coast are in places 
sandy tracts, which, if sufficiently drained, support, or formerly supported, a dense 
forest vegetation, and when cleared become good pasture land. Inland of the sandy 
belt, swamps, most of which carry a good deal of New Zealand flax {Phormium tenax), 
are a conspicuous feature, especially near Waimangaroa. 

The lowland pakihis, with their sour and apparently barren soil, have a peaty 
surface, resting on a subsoil of hard iron-cemented gravel, with or without clayey 
layers. In all cases the result is the same : soil-drainage is practically wanting, and 
only a restricted range of plants can exist. Analyses show that pakihi soils need the 
addition of lime (or ground limestone) in order to liberate potash, which is present in 
fair quantity, but not in a form available for plant- food. The further addition of 
a fertilizer containing phosphoric acid is generally necessary. Although the pakihis 
present appreciable surface slopes the problem of their drainage has not yet been 
satisfactorily solved on economical lines. Eecently experiments in the direction of 
breaking the subsoil with explosives have been made near Westport, and, it is thought, 
give promise of commercially successful results.* 

Where Miocene rocks outcrop, as near Charleston and north of the Mokihinui, 
forest flourishes on a soil capable of being transformed into a good pasture land. This 
is especially the case with the areas immediately underlain by limestone. The marine 
mudstones forming the upper part of the bituminous coal-measures also give rise to a 
fairly good soil ; but the grits and sandstones of a lower horizon lack the substances 
essential for the formation of a fertile soil, and therefore the areas directly underlain 
by them are barren in the extreme, bare' rock forming the surface at many spots ; 
elsewhere the soil is composed of a mixture of sand and peat, in which a peculiar 
assemblage of plants, similar to that of the lowland pakihis, finds root ; and only in 
a few places does scrub or low bush appear. The greywackes and argillites that 
form the oldest rocks of the district do not, as a rule, afford by their decomposition 
a fertile soil, and the same remark may be made with even greater truth concerning 
the granites and quarBz-porphyries that intrude the ancient sedimentaries. In places, 
however, alluvial fans composed mainly of greywacke gravel have been found worth 

* The following publications, among others, may be consulted for further information concerning pakihi 
soils : — 

B. C. Aston : " Wiro-baskot Method of Testing Soils." Bulletin No. 2, Chemistry Division, N.Z. 

Department of Agriculture, 1907. 
B. C. Aston, in Report of the Department of Agriculture, Chemistry Division, 1909, pp. 464-467. 
B. C. Aston, in the Journal of AgriciiUnre, vol. i, No. 1, 1910, p. 22. 

G. de S. Baj'lis : " Treatment of Refractory Soils." Journal of Agriculture, vol. v, No. 1, 1912, 
pp. 71-74. 

A. Macpherson : " Drainage by Explosives." Journal of Agriculture, vol. v, No. 2,1912, p]). 1 26-1 33. 

B. U. Aston : " Pakihi Lands." Journal of Agriculture, vol. vii, No. 3, 1913, pp. 295-300. 


clearing and grassing. The value of these fans depends largely upon the excellent 
drainage of their surfaces. 


The outstanding feature of the climate of the BuUer-Mokihinui Subdivision is the 
heavy rainfall, which is spread very evenly over the year, and is the chief cause of 
the covering of dense bush spread over most of the area. Along the coast the average 
yearly rainfall is somewhat under 80 in., but on the mountains the precipitation is 
without doubt considerably greater. High winds are not so prevalent as in most 
other parts of New Zealand. The most common directions of the air-currents are from 
the north-west, the west, and the south-west, the last-named predominating. Except 
on the high country, the winter frosts are not severe. Snow very rarely falls near 
the sea-coast, and only occasionally in the Buller Valley ; but there is a heavy winter 
and spring precipitation on the crest of the Paparoa Range and other high points. 
Fog is prevalent on the elevated country near Deimiston and Millerton during the 
greater part of the year, though the winter season is usually the least objectionable 
in this respect. 

The following table, kindly supplied by Mr. D. C. Bates, Government Meteorologist, 
shows the average monthly and yearly rainfall at Westport, Denniston, Reefton (a few 
miles south-east of the subdivision), and at Greymouth, which is a little over fifty 
miles south-south-west of Westport. 

Mean Monthly and Average Rainfall in Inches. 









Aug. Sept. 





Westport . . 

6-92 ! 4-22 












Denniston . . 

7-31 1 4-32 













5-72 2-90 













9-12 5-96 












These figures are founded on observations taken at Westport for twenty years, 
at Denniston for nine years, at Reefton for nine years, and at Greymouth for twenty- 
two years. Observations made at Karamea, a few miles north of the subdivision, 
for two years and three-quarters show that the rainfall there is decidedly less than at 
Westport, but owing to the shortness of the period the data obtained are nearly useless 
for comparative purposes, and at the request of Mr. Bates are therefore not published. 


The principal centre of population in the subdivision is the Borough of Westport, 
which according to the census of 1911 had 4,729 inhabitants. Other centres are the 
townships of Denniston, 842 ; Burnett's Face, 627 ; Millerton, 708 ; Granity, 589 ; 
Waimangaroa, 362 ; Ngakawau (including Hector), 293 ; Seddonville, 426 (with 
St. Helens, 525) ; and Omau (Cape Foulwind), 203. Charleston, once a town with many 
thousands of inhabitants, is now a little village with a population of eighty, or, including 
the adjoining settlements, 201. Addison's is an even smaller hamlet. There is a 
scattered country population which cannot be exactly estimated. The total population 
of Buller County, together with the Borough of Westport, in 1911 was 11,447, including 
thirty-six Maoris. Of this number, over 10,500 were resident in the BuUer-Mokihinui 

Means op Communication. 

The means of communication between the various parts of the Buller-Mokihinui 
Subdivision may be summarized as being on the whole good. From Westport a 





railway, owned jointly by the Government and the Westport Harbour Board, runs 
north-east to Seddonville (twenty-nine miles) and Mokihinui Mine (thirty-one miles), 
en route tapping the various coal-mines. Connection with the mines near Denniston 
is made by means of a short branch line from Waimangaroa Junction to Conn's 
Creek, where is the foot of the famous Denniston incline. 

Ultimately Westport will be connected with the main railway system of the South 
Island, and with this intention a line has been constructed for six miles southward 
from the town to Te Kuha, at the entrance to the Buller Gorge, whence the formation 
has been carried for several miles through the gorge. When completed it will connect 
with the proposed Greymouth-Reefton-Nelson Railway* at Inangahua Junction. 

The Westport Harbour Board, chiefly for the purpose of obtaining material for the 
harbour moles, has made a railway along the coast from Westport to Cape Foulwind. 
This line carries a considerable revenue-producing traffic in passengers, timber, and 
other goods. 

Of the roads within the subdivision the coach-road through the Buller Gorge 
which connects with the Reefton-Nelson Road at Inangahua Junction, is the most 
important, since it affords the only route for wheeled traffic from Westport to other 
parts of the South Island. South-west from Westport a road connects with Charleston, 
and thence continues to the southern boundary of the subdivision, not far beyond which 
it becomes a bridle-track, ultimately reaching the Greymouth district. Northward 
a road has been made from Westport to Seddonville, with branches to Burnett's 
Face, via Denniston, and to Millerton. Near Seddonville a branch (the New Inland 
Road), which at the time of writing has not been quite completed for wheeled traffic, 
leads to Corbyvale, whence it connects with Karamea by way of Little Wanganui. 
The " Old Inland Road " to Little Wanganui is a horse- track, which follows the south 
bank of the Mokihinui from Seddonville to Rough-and-Tumble Creek, and thence, 
crossing the Mokihinui by means of a fine single-span bridge, continues up the Rough- 
and-Tumble Valley.| 

From Mokihinui Mine a foot-track, known as the Mokihinui-Lyell Track, has been 
constructed in a southerly direction for over seventeen miles. This track, orginally a 
good one for the greater part of its course, is so little used that much work had to 
be done on it by the Geological Survey party in order to render it suitable for the 
transport of food and tents. At its southern end it meets a far worse cross-track, 
with the title of " Buller County Council Prospecting Track," which, beginning as 
an extension of the road from Burnett's Face to " Kiwi Compressor," follows the 
Waimangaroa Valley for about two miles, and then turns eastward. After crossing 
the Mount William Range, the Mackley River, and a considerable extent of broken 
country, where it is usually very difficult to follow, the track reaches the Buller River 
at the mouth of Pensini Creek, or, more correctly, reaches the north bank of Pensini 
Creek some distance from the Buller. Its total length is about thirteen miles. 

Various roads and tracks which are shown on the maps need not be mentioned 
here. In connection with the work of the Geological Survey, several old tracks, in- 
cluding those mentioned above, were cleaned out, and a number of blazed lines cut. 

The chief means of external communication is the port of Westport. The mouth 
of the Buller River has been so much improved by moles and other works that it is 
now the best harbour (the Otago Sounds excepted) on the west coast of the South 
Island. The average depth of water on the bar at high water, once only 10 ft. or 
lift., is now about 23ft., and at spring tides may reach 27ft. 

* The middle portion of this railway (botwoon Inangahua Junction and Glenhopc) is not oonstruotod. 
t See N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 11 (Mount Radiant), 1910, p. 5. 


The entrance is sheltered from the prevailing south-westerly winds by Cape Foul- 
wind and The Steeples, but it is exposed to north- wester lies. The following figures 
for the years 1910 to 1914, in part taken from departmental reports, and in part 
specially supplied by the Westport Harbour Board, will give some idea of the importance 
of the harbour : — 






Revenue of Harbour Board 






Expenditure . . 





Coal exported (tons) 






Coke exported (tons) 




Timber exported (super, ft.) 



Steamers visiting port . . 






Sailing-vessels visiting port 






Aggregate tonnage 






Average depth of water on bar at 

high tide 

23 ft. 1 in. 

24 ft. 3 in. 

23 ft. 6 in. 

23 ft. 5 in. 

22 ft. 9 in. 

Average depth of water in river 


high tide 

29 ft. 9 in. 

25 ft. 1 in. 

25 ft. 6 in. 

26 ft. 7 in. 

26 ft. in. 

The approximate rise and fall of the tide varies from 6 ft. 6 in. at neap tides to 
9 ft. 6 in. at spring tides. 

In the early days of the Charleston goldfield Constant Bay was extensively used 
as a port by small vessels, the usual plan being to beach them at high water. The 
mouth of the Nile or Waitakere River is occasionally utilized as a harbour, but only 
very' small vessels, and these at irregular intervals, can cross the bar, which is some- 
times almost dry at low water. Many years ago some coal was exported in small 
steamers which managed to enter the mouth of the Ngakawau. More suitable as a 
harbour is the Mokihinui River mouth, which at irregular intervals was visited by 
shipping for many years. It is said that there is sometimes 18 ft. of water on the 
bar at high water, but occasionally the depth is so little that at low tide the bar 
can be forded. Since the wreck of the s.s. " Lawrence " in 1891 there is no record 
of the Mokihinui River having been entered by any vessel other than open boats. 


The scenery of the Westport district, with the exception of the Buller Gorge, is 
singularly unappreciated and unknown. The chief reasons for this being the case are 
the lack of enthusiasm of the inhabitants and the uncertainty of the climate, for whilst 
few districts can boast such perfect days when the sun does shine, few become so 
frequently and gloomily immersed in all-pervading rain. 

Within easy reach of Westport and the other centres of population is some of the 
most fascinating mountain scenery it is possible to desire ; yet not many enthusiasts 
are found to climb the 4,000 ft. necessary to obtain from the top of almost any peak 
of the Paparoa Range one of the most captivating panoramas of bizarre rock-peaks 
that can be found in New Zealand or elsewhere. 

Any one who thoroughly knows the scenery of the Westport district will readily 
admit that even the far-famed Buller Gorge has overshadowing rivals that, were they 
equally accessible, would be amongst the most noted beauty-spots of New Zealand. 
Such a rival is the Mokihinui Gorge. An easy six-mile walk or ride from Seddonville 
brings one to where the swiftly flowing Mokihinui River cleaves the granite mountains 
in a wonderful gorge, the walls of which are mirrored on the surface of deep pools, 
whilst a fine bridge, spanning the river over 80 ft. above the surface of the water, adds 
an additional element of picturesqueness to the scene. To those who have heard the 
history of gold-mining in the locality this scene is given further romance by the thought 
of the Trojans of the " seventies " and " eighties " who, lured by the gleam of gold. 

barged mining machinery and stores up many miles of this gorge amidst ugly rocks 
and rapids — a feat incredible to one unfamiliar with the resource and indomitable de- 
termination of these pioneers. 

Other localities in the subdivision rendered noteworthy by reason of their scenery 
are the Ngakawau and Waimangaroa gorges and the sea-coast north of the Mokihinui 
River, whilst the caves and the picturesque gorge of the Fox River near Brighton, 
a few miles beyond the southern boundary of the subdivision, are becoming widely 
known for their beauty. 

Primary Industries other than Mining. 

(1.) Timber. 

There are about a dozen sawmills in the subdivision, most of which are constantly 
at work, whilst the others are intermittently operated. The chief timber-tree converted 
is the rimu or red - pine {Dacrydium cupressinum), and next in importance is yellow 
silver-pine {Dacrydium intermedium), which, together with the much less common silver- 
pine {Dacrydium Colensoi) is of great value for railway-sleepers. Other trees milled to 
a small extent are black- birch, also called " brown-birch " — really a beech {Fagus fusca) 
— white-pine or kahikatea {Podocarpus dacrydioides), and one or two others. The 
principal trees used for mine-timbering are the birches or beeches {Fagus fusca, F. 
Menziesii, and F. Solandri), together with rimu, kamahi {Weinmannia racemosa), and 
some others. 

(2.) Agricultural and Grazing Industries. 

Agriculture proper is in a backward state in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision, 
but the clearing and grassing of land for grazing purposes is proceeding at a fairly rapid 
rate, especially near Seddonville, Birchfield, and Charleston. Nowhere, however, is there 
any extensive area artificially cleared. The dairying industry has made some progress, 
there being thriving butter-factories at Birchfield and Charleston. The cattle and sheep- 
farming branches are so little developed that the graziers are unable to supply the local 
market, a fact clearly demonstrated during the labour strike of 1913. 

(3.) Miscellaneous Industries utilizing Primary Products. 

There are two mills for the manufacture of New Zealand flax-fibre in the sub- 
division, one at Birchfield, the other at Waimangaroa. A brickmaking plant is in 
operation at Waimangaroa Village, and a lime-kiln is intermittently operated near Cape 
Foulwind. Of considerable importance are the quarries which have been opened by the 
Westport Harbour Board at Cape Foulwind in order to supply stone for the moles at 
the mouth of the Buller River. In the spring months sufficient whitebait is netted 
to supply the local demand and, in addition, to support a canning-factory for a few 


The list of literature here given includes all the more important publications relat- 
ing to the geology of the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision, but cannot be regarded as 
complete, the writers having been unable to obtain access to some of the old provincial 
papers of Nelson and otlier early literature. A few references deemed of little im- 
portance are purposely omitted, and one or two of greater value may liavc been 
accidentally overlooked. 


The following abbreviations are used : — 

Trans. : Transactions of the New Zealand Institute. 

Rep. G.S. : Eeports of the Geological Survey of New Zealand (previous to 

Mines Eeports : Papers and Reports referring to Minerals and Mining (the 

annual volume published by the New Zealand Mines Department). 
Mines Record : New Zealand Mines Record. 
A capital letter followed by a figure (thus, C— 3) refers to a New Zealand 

parliamentary paper. The dates given refer to the dates of publication of 

the several papers. 

1847. Heaphy, Charles. " Notes of an Expedition to Kawatiri and Araura [Arahura] 
on the Western Coast of the Middle Island." The New Zealand Journal, vol. vii, 
1847, Nos. 191 and 192, pp. 104-7, and 115-18. (See Carter Collection, 
N.Z. Institute Library, Dominion Museum.) During 1846 Messrs. Heaphy and 
Brunner, accompanied by two Maoris, traversed the coast-line from West 
Wanganui to the Arahura River. On the 28th April they forded the Mokihinui 
River at its mouth, and on the 30th reached the Buller (Kawatiri) River. On 
the 14th May, coal (lignite) was observed in the vicinity of the Waitakere 
River. Various geological observations relating to the coast-line are recorded. 
The New Zealand Journal, so far as the search made extended, does not 
contain any particulars of the return journey. 

1849. " Mr. Brunner's Late Exploring Expedition." The New Zealand Journal, vol. ix, 
1849, Nos. 244 and 254, pp. 80-82, 197-98. (See " Carter Collection," N.Z. 
Institute Library, Dominion Museum.) During the years 1846-48, in an 
expedition lasting 80 weeks, Brunner forced his way from Nelson down the 
Buller River to its mouth, where he arrived on 4th June, 1847. He then 
travelled down the coast to the Paringa River (South Westland), retraced his 
steps to the mouth of the Grey River, and returned to Nelson via the Grey 
and Buller valleys, &c. Brunner's diary was published in the Nelson Examiner, 
and reprinted with considerable omissions as above. 

1851. Brunner, Thomas. " Journal of an Expedition to explore the Interior of the 
Middle Island of New Zealand." Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, 
vol. XX, 1851, pp. 344-378. This is Brunner's diary in full, mentioned above. 
A copy is available in the " Carter Collection " (Pamphlets, vol. xxiii.) 

1860. Tatton, J. W. : " Report on Analysis of West Coast Coal." Nelson Gazette, vol. 

viii. No. 8, May 30, 1860, p. 37. This is the analysis quoted by von Haast 
in his report of 1861, p. 114. 

1861. Haast, J. von : " Report of a Topographical and Geological Exploration of the 

Western Districts of the Nelson Province." On p. 56 Haast mentions his 
discovery of coal at Coalbrookdale. On pp. Ill et seq. he notes " Cretaceous " 
limestone at Cape Foulwind and friction-breccia at Ngakawau and (erroneously) 
states that in some places — e.g., to the north of Mount Frederick — the coal 
strata are intruded by granite with formation of interesting contact rocks. He 
estimates the thickness of " Carboniferous " beds from Mount Rochfort to the 
Waimangaroa as- 3,500 ft. 

1862. Rochfort, John : " Journal of Two Expeditions to the West Coast of the Middle 

Island of New Zealand in 1859." Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, 
vol. zxxii. 


1862. Burnett, J. : " Reports of the Grey Coalfield north of the BuUer River." Nelson 

Gazette, vol. x, No. 21, pp. 73-83. This report gives the result of the first 
detailed examination of the Coalbrookdale plateau, whence Burnett, allowing 
a large factor of safety, estimated that 72,600,000 tons of coal could be ex- 
tracted. Gold workings in the Waimangaroa River are recorded. Many useful 
geological notes are given in the course of the report. 

1863. Burnett, J. : " Report on that Part of the Grey Coalfields situated at Mokihinui." 

Nelson Gazette, vol. xi, April 20, No. 8, pp. 21-24. Burnett examined the 
known outcrop of coal at the sandstone gorge of the Mokihinui River, and 
also found broken coal in a gully on the other side of the river. He gives a fairly 
comprehensive account of the geology of the district, and states that a mining 
company was at work in the district. In this connection the names of 
Messrs. Batty and Hunter are mentioned. 

1863. Burnett, J. : " Report on Part of the Grey Coalfield north of the Buller River." 
Nelson Gazette, vol. xi, April 20, No. 8, pp. 24-29. This report gives an 
account of further detailed work by Burnett on the coalfield in the vicinity 
of Mount Rochfort and Waimangaroa. The writer remarks on the extra- 
ordinary chasm of the Waimangaroa Gorge. 

1863. Blackett, J. : " Report on the Buller and Grey Coalfields." Nelsoti Gazette, 

vol. xi. May 12, No. 14. This report deals chiefly with questions concerning 
the means of transport of the coal, but contains also some geological details. 

1864. Hochstetter, F. von : " Lecture on the Geology of the Province of Nelson." 

Auckland, 1864. Hochstetter remarks that the terraces of the Buller River 
prove an elevation of the land of about 2,000 ft. since Tertiary times. 

1866. Hector, James : " First General Report on the Coal-deposits of New Zealand." 

Rep. G.S. No. 1 (vol. i). Hector states that the coal available in the Westport 
district has been estimated -at 200,000,000 tons, and also quotes the results 
of trials made at Woolwich Dockyard. 

1867. Hector, James : " Abstract Report on the Progress of the Geological Survey 

of New Zealand during 1866-67." This report, furnished to the Colonial 
Secretary, was republished with sections in a slightly different form in 1868 (see 
below) . 

1867. Hochstetter, F., von : " New Zealand." Hochstetter thinks that the Pakawau, 

Buller, and Grey River coals are probably of Mesozoic age. 

1868. Hector, James : " Abstract Report on the Progress of the Geological Survey of 

New Zealand during 1866-67." Rep. G.S. No. 4. On pp. 22-24 Hector 
gives details of the Buller coalfield, and mentions that a mine was opened 
at Mokihinui some years previously. He notes faults up to 1,200 ft. in 
tlirow. On p. 32 the chemical nature of some " lode " rocks at Waimangaroa 
is compared with that of auriferous rocks at Coromandel, Baton River, 
Thames Valley, and elsewhere. These lodes are thought by Hector to owe 
their origin to thermal waters. He considers that the source of tlie alluvial 
gold near Westport is in the upper terraces of the Buller River, and that the 
gold-leads south of the Grey River were deposited by an ancient river now 
represented by a north-east and a south-west depression and crossed by the 
present drainage-channels. 
1870. Hector, James : " On Mining in New Zealand." Trans., vol. ii, pp. 361-84. On 
p. 369 there is a biief mention of gold in quartz at Waimangaroa, and on 
pp. 379-80 of the Buller coalfield. 


1871. " Joint Committee on Colonial Industries (Eeport of)." H.-7. On p. 17 Eugene 

O'Conor refers to tke discovery of coal near the Buller River, about five 
miles in a direct line from Westport. 

1872. Hector, James : " On the Remains of a Gigantic Penguin {Palceeudyptes antarcticus, 

Huxley) from the Tertiary Rock on the West Coast of Nelson." Trans., 
vol. iv, pp. 341-46. (See also Trans., vols, ii and v.) This paper contains 
some general remarks on the coal-bearing strata of the west coast of the 
South Island. 

1872. Hector, James : " Report on the Coal-mines in the Western District of the 
Province of Nelson." Rep. G.S. during 1871-72, No. 7, pp. 129-41. This 
report deals particularly with the sequence of strata in the coalfields of the 
Westport district. Hector remarks that coal occurs in trough-like areas 
due largely to inequalities of the surface on which the coal strata were 
deposited, and considers that there is only one seam at Coalbrookdale. On 
pp. 134 and 138 are maps of the Mount Rochfort coalfield and of the 
Ngakawau River respectively. 

1872. Hector, James : " General Report on the Coals of New Zealand." Rep. G.S. 
during 1871-72, No. 7, pp. 172-81. This report includes analyses of eleven 
samples of Buller coals collected by the Geological Survey. 

1872. Hutton, F. W. : " Synopsis of the Younger Formations of New Zealand." Rep. 
G.S. during 1871-72, No. 7, pp. 182-84. Mokihinui is mentioned as one 
of the localities where the Greymouth group of the Waipara Formation occurs. 
The synopsis in a slightly altered form appeared later in the Quarterly Journal 
of the Geological Society, vol. xxix, 1873, p. 372. 

1872. " Papers relating to the Development of Coal-mines, &c." D.-3. A preliminary 

report by Dr. Hector on coal-areas in south-west Nelson, and maps of Mount 
Rochfort and Ngakawau River coalfields, appear in this parliamentary paper. 

1873. " The Coalfields of New Zealand (Reports on)." E.-IO. Amongst other 

pertinent material is a " Memorandum relative to Mount Rochfort district," 
by Dr. Hector. On p. 4 are analyses of some Westport coals. 

1873. " The Buller Coalfields (Reports relative to)." E.-10a. The same geological 
matter appears as in E.-IO, 1873, above. 

1873. " Colonial Industries (Report of the Select Committee on)." I.-4. Contains, 
inter alia, a memorandum by Dr. Hector relative to the iron-ores of New 
Zealand. This has a reference to the ironsands of the Lower Buller River, 
which are shown by an attached analysis to be highly titaniferous. The 
report also gives some information concerning Mount Rochfort coalfield. 

1873. Hutton, F. W. : " Catalogue of the Tertiary Mollusca and Echinodermata of 
New Zealand." Wellingon, 1873. Many of the species described were collected 
at Brighton, a district contiguous to the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision. 

1873. Hutton, F. W. : " Synopsis of the Younger Formations of New Zealand." Quar. 

Jour. Geol. Soc, vol. xxix, p. 372. Hutton classes the Lower Buller River 
coals (probably the brown coals of Inangahua Junction) as of Lower Eocene 
age, and those of the Mokihinui and Mount Rochfort coalfields he includes in 
his Cretaceous Danian (or Waipara) Formation. 

1874. " Public Works Statement." B.-3. Appendix E contains " Report on the Coal- 

fields of New Zealand," by Dr. Hector. In this is embraced a report by 
W. M. Cooper on the topographical survey of the Buller coalfield, which he 
began on the 14th November, 1873. 


1874. Dobson, A. D. : " Notes on the Glacial Period." Trans., vol. vi, pp. 294-97. 
The writer considers that the raised beaches on the west coast were formed 
during the period of elevation that, in his opinion, caused the glacial extension. 
In support of this view he states that debris brought from Mount Rochfort by 
glacial agencies overlies the auriferous beach drifts on the slopes of that mountain. 

1874. Hector, James : " New Zealand Geological Sketch-map, constructed from Official 
Surveys and the Explorations of Dr. von Hochstetter, Dr. J. von Haast, 
and Others." Wellington, 1874. 

1874. Button, F. W. : "Table of the Sedimentary Eocks of New Zealand." Geol. 

Mag., Nov., 1874, p. 515. 

1875. Dobson, A. D. : " On the Date of the Glacial Period : a Comparison of the 

Views represented in Papers published in the Transactions of the New Zealand 
Institute, vols, v and vi." Trans., vol. vii, pp. 440-46. Dobson states that 
he knows of no raised beaches of later age than the date of the glacial 
extension, and that the highest gold-lead in the auriferous beach drift is at 
Dawson's Terrace (? near Charleston) at a height of 400 ft. 
1875. " Public Works Statement." E-1. Appendix I, p. 88, contains a " Report on Buller 
Coalfield, by the Assist^oit Geologist " (S. H. Cox). This appears later in 
Rep. G.S. during 1874-76, No. 9, 1877, pp. 17-25. 

1875. " Topographical Survey of Buller Cbalfield (Report on)." B.-9. Interim reports 

by Messrs. Cooper and Denniston on their survey of the coalfield are published 
in this paper. 

1876. " Public Works Statement." E.-l. Appendix I, pp. 86-93, comprises a " Report 

on Buller Coalfield, by the Assistant Geologist " (S. H. Cox). This report of 
Cox's appeared later in Rep. G.S. during 1874-76, No. 9, pp. 106-19. 

1876. " Westport Colliery Reserve Commission, Report of." A.-3. Maps of the 

coalfield are given on p. 131. 

1877. " Public Works Statement." E.-l. In Appendix F is a " Report on Coal 

Explorations conducted by the Geological Survey Department, 1876-77,'! which 
was furnished by Dr. Hector, and contains an estimate of the available coal 
in part of the Buller coalfield. (See " Progress Report," Rep. G.S. during 
1876-77, No. 9.) 

1877. Hector, James : " Progress Report." Rep. G.S. during 1873-74, No. 8. Pp. iii 
to V deal partly with the Mount Rochfort coalfield. Hector states that 
the main seam is trough-shaped, thinning towards the margins, and broken 
by several transverse faults. Opposite p. iv is a map of Ngakawau coalfield. 

1877. Cooper, W. M. : " Maps of the Buller Coalfield to illustrate Reports by Mr. 
Cox and Mr. Denniston." Accompanied Rep. G.S. during 1874-76, No. 9, 1877. 
These excellent maps are of great value to the miner and the student of 
• the geology of the Buller coalfield. Unfortunately, copies are now very scarce. 
Several other maps dealing with the topography of the Ngakawau portion 
of the district were prepared by A. Koch from Cooper's traverses, and 
published by the Public Works Department. 

1877. McKay, Alex. : " Reports relative to collections of Fossils made on the West 
Coast District, South Island."- Rep. G.S. during 1873-74, No. 8, pp. 74-115. 
McKay gives fairly full geological notes of the localities in which he collected 
fossils. Pp. 102-115 deal with the Buller district. In the Buller Gorge 
McKay considers that there is an unconformity between a sequence of lower 
brown sandstones and conglomerates and the upper coal and overlying 
calcareous beds. He notes the granite breccia along the coast north of the 
Mokihinui River. 


1877. Hector, James : " Progress Report." Eep. G.S. during 1874-76, No. 9. In a few 
remarks relative to tlie coalfields of New Zealand, Hector states that large 
oysters are found in the sandstone overlying the upper seam of the Buller 
coalfield in the Orikaka (Blackburn) Valley, and also that 100,000,000 tons 
of available coal have been proved by the surveys of Cooper and Denniston 
on the Buller coalfield between Westport and Ngakawau. 

1877. Cox, S. H. : " Report on Survey of Buller coalfield." Rep. G.S. during 1874-76, 
No. 9, pp. 17-25. This report is upon part of the area surveyed bj^ Cooper 
and Denniston. Coal-analyses are given on p. 25. Cox is inclined to think 
that the brown coals of the North Island are of the same age as the South 
Island bituminous coals. 

1877. McKay, Alex. : " Report on Weka Pass and Buller Districts." Rep. G.S. 
during 1874-76, No. 9, pp. 36-42. A short note is given in this report on 
the sequence and correlation of the beds at Inangahua Junction, but the 
only direct reference to rocks within the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision is a 
mention of " nummulitic '' limestone " within two miles of Lyell." 

1877. Cox, S. H. : " Report on Survey of Buller Coalfield." Rep. G.S. during 1874-76, 
No. 9, 106-119. This is a report on the completed survey of Cooper and 
Denniston : it contains a number of detailed sections quoted from Denniston, 
and, opposite p. 112, various maps and sections. 

1877. Denniston, R. B. : '' Detailed Notes on the Buller Coalfield." Rep. G.S. during 
1874-76, No. 9, pp. 121-170. Denniston here gives in elaborate detail the 
results of his painstaking work in examining and mapping the coal-outcrops 
during the course of the detailed survey by Cooper and himself of the Buller 
coalfield. A map showing the coal-areas faces p. 170. 

1877. Hector, James : " Progress Report." Rep. G.S. during 1876-77, No. 10, and 

also in E.-l, 1877, p. 100. On pp. iii to v is a table of formations, and 
pp. XV to xvi deal with the Buller coalfield, where between Westport and 
Ngakawau Hector estimates that there are 105,534,000 tons of workable coal. 

1878. "Public Works Statement." E.-l. Appendix M, pp. 82-92, consists of a "Report 

on Coal Explorations and Inspection of Mines, conducted by the Geological 
Survey Department during 1877-78," prepared by Dr. Hector. It includes 
a report by S. H. Cox on the Wellington Colliery at Waimangaroa (see also 

1878. Hector, James : "On the Relative Ages of the Australian, Tasmanian, and New 
Zealand coalfields." (Abstract.) Trans., vol. x, p. 533. 

1878. Hector, James : " Progress Report." Rep. G.S. during 1877-78, No. 11. On 
p. ii the Wellington Mine is mentioned in the list of collieries examined. 

1878. Cox, S. H. : " Report on the Coal-mines of New Zealand inspected during the 

Past Year." Rep. G.S. during 1877-78, No. 11, pp. 160-79. On pp. 174-75 

is a report on the Wellington Mine, the only colliery then working in the 
Westport district. 

1879. Hector, James : " On the J^ossil Flora of New Zealand." (Abstract.) Trans., 

vol. xi, pp. 536-37. This paper contains brief reference to the flora of the 
coal-bearing " Cretaceous " formation. 
1879. Hector, James : " Handbook of New Zealand." This book was issued for dis- 
tribution at the Sydney International Exhibition, 1879. A second edition was 
published in 1880 (Melbourne Exhibition), a third in 1883, and a fourth in 
1886 (Indian and Colonial Exhibition). There are brief references to various 
features of the geology of the Westport district on pp. 21-50. 


1879. Hector, James : " Progress Eeport." Rep. G-.S. during 1878-79, No. 12. A 
resume of New Zealand stratigraphy is given in^connection with remark.s 
on the geology of the North Otago District (pp. 31-32), and on ji. 41 is a 
table showing the mines inspected, with the outputs for each. 

1879. Haast, J. von : " Geology of Canterbury and Westland." In this^book, which has 

many useful references to the general geology of New Zealand, one of the few 
direct references to the BuUer district is on p. 451, whore the author considers 
that the west coast bituminous coals are coeval with the coals on the east side 
of the South Island, but have been subjected to abysso-dynamic agencies that 
have not operated on the east coast. 

1880. Hector, James : " On the Geological Formations of New Zealand compared with 

those of Australia." Trans. Royal Society of N.S.W., vol. xiii, p, 65. There 
is some detail given of the " Cretaceo-Tertiary " brown coals of the west coast 
and of the underlying bituminous measures of " Lower Greensand " age. A 
table of formations is included. An extract from this paper appears in Rep. 
G.S. during 1879-80, No. 13, pp. ii to iv (Progress Report), 1881. 

1881. Hector, James: "On the Distribution of Auriferous Cements in New Zealand." 

(Abstract.). Trans., vol. xiii, p. 429. Several statements as to the origin of the 
gold-bearing gravels are made in this report. 

1882. Cox, S. H. : " Notes on the Mineralogy of New Zealand." Trans., vol. xiv, 

pp. 418-50. Antimony-ore (stibnite) is reported from the Westport district. 
1882. " Index of Fossiliferous Localities in New Zealand (with Table of Fossiliferous 
Formations in New Zealand.)" Rep. G.S. during 1881, No. 14, Appendix, 
pp. 118-128. In this index the fossils are listed according to their Museum 
numbers, and the locality of each is appended. 

1882. " Westport Coal Committee (Report of)." I.-6. This report deals mainly with 

the Westport Harbour, but there is also discussion of the quality and tonnage 
of the available coal in the Westport district. 
1882 (about). Metcalf, T. J. : " A Ramble through the Inangahua, Lyell, and Colling- 
wood Reefs." A newspaper reporter's account of the quartz-mining fields in the 
early " eighties " of last century. 

1883. Cox, S. H. : " Notes on the Mineralogy of New Zealand." Trans., vol. xv, 

pp. 361-409. On p. 367 is an analysis of " brown coal " from Charleston, 
on p. 370 that of a " pitch coal " from the Buller Valley, and on p. 373 are 
two average analyses of the Westport bituminous coal. Muscovite from 
Charleston is mentioned on p. 404, and various other minerals occurring in the 
Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision are indefinitely recorded as foimd on the west 
1883. McKay, Alex. : " On the Geology of the Reefton District, Inangahua County." 
Rep. G.S. during 1882, No. 15, pp. 91-153. On pp. 142-44 McKay discusses 
the Hawk's Crag breccias and their source. On p. 150 and elsewhere there 
are various other references to the geology of the Westport district. 

1883. Hector, James : " Progress Report." Rep. G.S. during 1882, No. 15. On p. 28 

Hector mentions the probability of overlap in Cretaceous and Cretaceo-Tertiary 
beds. He also notes the extension of the coalbeds from the Inangahua Valley 
into the Mokihinui country. 

1884. Hector, James: "Progress Report." Rep. G.S. during 1882, No. 16. On 

pp. xii to xiv is a table of the sedimentary rocks of New Zealand. There is 
a reference to the " Great Breccia " of the Buller district, to which is assigned 
a Lower Greensand age. 


1885 Hutton, F. W. : " Sketch of the Geology of New Zealand." Quar. Jour. Geol. 
Soc. vol. xli, p. 191. On p. 204 et seq. Hutton deals with, his Waipara System, 
in which he includes the Buller bituminous coals, resting on rocks considered by 
him to belong to the " Maitai " Series. The Cape Foulwind limestone and its 
southern continuation, along with much of the brown coal of the Buller Valley, 
he classes in his Oamaru System, a view supported by the writers of the present 
bulletin (see Chapter V). 

1885. Binns, G. J. : " Coal-mining in New Zealand." Trans. North of England Inst. 

Min. Bug., vol. xxxv, pp. 175-251. 

1886. Gordon, H. A. : " Outline History of the Coal, Gold, and other Known Mineral 

Eesources of New Zealand." Mines Report, 1886. (Not seen.) 
1886. Haast, J. von. : " The Mineral Resources of New Zealand." Austr. Timss and 

Anglo- New-Zealander, Supp. 1, Aug. 13, 1886. (Not seen.) 
1886. Haast, J. von : " On the Character and Age of the New Zealand Coalfields." 

Rep. Brit. Ass. Adv. Science, 1886, p. 643. Von Haast notes that according 

to Bttingshausen's identifications of the fossil flora the bituminous coals must 

be placed in the Cretaceous. 
1886. Hector, James : " Detailed Catalogue and Guide to the Geological Exhibits, New 

Zealand Court, Indian and Colonial Exhibition, 1886." 

1886. Hector, James : " Outline of New Zealand Geology." This pamphlet formed the 

second part of the special catalogue of the geological exhibits sent to the 
Indian and Colonial Exhibition, London. In it are various references to the 
geology of the Westport district, particularly with respect to the coal-bearing 

1887. " Index to Fossiliferous Localities in New Zealand." Rep. G.S. during 1886-87, 

No. 18, Appendix, pp. 255-70. 

1887. Hector, James : " Progress Report." Rep. G.S. during 1886-87, No. 18. On 
p. xxxiv Hector has a few notes concerning the period to which the bitu- 
minous coals of the West Coast belong. 

1887. Hector, James : " On the Mokihinui Coalfield." Rep. G.S. during 1886-87, 
No. 18, pp. 156-60. This short report does not discuss the general geology 
of the field at any length. It is stated that two seams of coal have been 
proved in the district, and that the probable available coal there exceeds 
3,000,000 tons. Two maps are appended to the report. 

1887. McKay, Alex. : " On the Mokihinui Coalfield." Rep. G.S. during 1886-87, 
No. 18, pp. 161-67. McKay gives full details of the coal-outcrops, and his 
report in this connection is useful. 

1887. Ettingshausen, Constantin von : " Beitrage zur Kenntniss der fossUen Flora 
Neuseelands." Denkschriften der Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Classe 
der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Vienna), Band liii. See also 
Trans., vol. xxiii, 1891, pp. 237-310, and Trans., vol. xix, 1887, pp. 450-51. 
Although none of the specimens described by the author were collected in the 
Westport district, yet their derivation from coal-measures of identical age with 
those in the subdivision compels consideration of this paper. 

1887. Galvin, P. : " The Handbook of New Zealand Mines." On pp. 211-13 of pt. i 
is given the history of the discovery of gold in the Buller district, and on 
pp. 214-26 is general information relative to gold occurrences in the Buller- 
Mokihinui Subdivision. On p. 227 is a reference to the New Creek diggings. 
Amongst the minerals reported from the subdivision are copper-ore, stream-tin, 
manganese-ore, and alum shale. An account of the Mokihinui and Coalbrook- 
dale coal-mines is given on pp. 22-24, pt. ii. 


1888. Hector, James: "Progress Report." Rep. G.S. during 1887-88, No. 19. Notes 
relative to the economic value of New Zealand coals, together with several 
analyses, are given on pages xxx to xxxii. 

1888. Gaze, W. H. : " An Introduction to Analytical Pyrology." Contains references to 

minerals found in the Westport district. 

1889. Park, James : " On the Extent and Duration of Workable Coal in New Zealand." 

Trans., vol. xxi, pp. 325-31. In this important paper there are various 
remarks on the West Coast bituminous coals in general, and also estimates of 
the workable coal in the several districts. 
1889. " Westland Coalfields Committee (Report of)." I.-6. 

1889. Hutton, F. W. : " The Eruptive Rocks of New Zealand." Jour, and Proc. Roy. 

Soc. of N.S.W., vol. xxiii, pp. 102-56. On pp. 112-28 are descriptions of 
various rocks, chiefly granites, from the Westport district. 

1890. Hutton, F. W. : " Description of some Eruptive Rocks from the Neighbourhood 

of Westport, New Zealand." Trans. Geol. Soc. of Australasia, vol. i, pt. iv, 

pp. 106-11. 
1890. Hutton, P. W. : " On the Relative Ages of the New Zealand Coalfields." Trans., 

vol. xxii, pp. 377-87. Hutton ably reviews the evidence for the ages of the 

various coalfields of New Zealand, and considers that they belong to four 

distinct series, to the oldest of which — the Amuri — the Westport bituminous 

coals belong. 
1890. Hutton, F. W. : " Note on the Geology of the Country about Lyell." Trans., 

vol. xxii, pp. 387-90. A few petrographical references concern the rocks of the 

Buller Gorge. 

1890. Hector, James: "Progress Report." Rep. G.S. during 1888-89, No. 20. On 

pp. xxii to xxiii Hector specifically defines " evaporative power," and compares 
Westport and Greymouth coals with Newcastle coal. Page xxvii contains a 
table showing areas and tonnages of coal. 

1891. Ettingshausen, Constantin von : " Contributions to the Knowledge of the Fossil 

Flora of New Zealand." Trans., vol. xxiii, pp. 237-310. This is a translation 
by C. Juhl of von Ettingshausen's paper of 1887. 

1892. McKay, Alex. : " On the Geology of Marlborough and South-east Nelson." 

Part II. Rep. G.S. during 1890-91, No. 21, pp. 1-28. This important paper 
deals principally with the major fault-lines of New Zealand, and contains 
references to several fractures in the Buller district, particularly to the Lower 
Buller or Kongahu fault. A map showing fault-lines faces p. 1. 

1892. Hector, James: "Progress Report." Rep. G.S. during 1890-91, No. 21. On 
pp. xxxiii to xli, under the heading of " Buller Coalfield," Hector gives many 
important facts about the geology of the Westport district, and criticizes 
Hutton's paper of 1889 " On the Relative Ages of the New Zealand Coalfields " 
(Trans., vol. xxii, pp. 377-87). 

1892. McKay, Alex. : " On the Mokihinui Coal Company's Property, Coal Creek, 
Mokihinui." Rep. G.S. during 1890-91, No. 21, pp. 86-97. A history of the 
coalfield is given, together with the sequence of the strata, some mention of 
fossils from Chasm Creek, and a number of analyses of the coal. 

1892. Hector, James : " Minerals of New Zealand." (Revised from Trans. Aust. Assn. 
Adv. Science, vol. ii, p. 269.) Rep. G.S. during 1890-91, No. 21, Appendix, 
pp. 105-20. (See also Mines Record, vol. iii, 1899-1900, pp. 256-63.) The 
Charleston mica is mentioned on p. 114, and on p. 108 coal-analyses are given. 
2 — BuUer-Mokihinui. 


1892. " Index of Fossiliferous Localities in New Zealand." Eep. G.S. during 1890-91, 
No. 21, Appendix, pp. 120-45. Attached to this list of localities of various 
fossils in the Dordinion Museum is a table of the fossiliferous formations in 
New Zealand. Several fossils from the Westport district are included in the 
index. There is also an " Index to Fossiliferous Localities according to the 
Counties in which they occur " (Appendix, pp. 146-78), and on p. 149 are 
various remarks relative to the formations and fossils of the Buller County. 

1892. McKay, Alex. : " On the New Cardiff Coal Property." Eep. G.S. during 1890-91, 
No. 21, pp. 76-85. McKay divides the coalfield from Mount Eochfort plateau 
to Mokihinui into three sections, which are in large part determined by faults 
trending in northerly and southerly directions (Lower Buller and Mount William 
faults). There is a map facing p. 80, and coal-analyses are given on p. 85. 

1892. Binns, G. J. : " Mining in New Zealand." Trans. Fed. Inst. Min. Eng., 1892, 

pp. 8-12, 49, 52, 54, and 71. (Not seen.) 

1893. McKay, Alex. : " Geological Explorations in the Northern Part of Westland." 

C.-3, pp. 132-86. There is little direct reference to the geology of the area 
included in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision, but on pp. 156-57 a few quotations 
from Hector (Eep. G.S. during 1866-67, No. 4, 1868) have bearing on the origin 
of the alluvial gold of the Buller district. 

1894. McKay, Alex. : " On the Geology of the Northern Part of Westland and the Gold- 

bearing Drifts between the Teremakau and Mikonui Elvers." Eep. G.S. during 
1892-93, No. 22, pp. 11-50. McKay briefly quotes previous reports by Hector 
discussing the origin of the auriferous drifts of the West Coast. He notes on 
p. 30 the general steep dip of the blue Miocene clays (Blue Bottom) near the 
ranges and near the outcrops of older rocks. 

1895. McKay, Alex. : " Geology of the South-west Part of Nelson and the Northern 

Part of the Westland District." Mines Eeport, C.-13. There is abundant 
useful information both as to the general and the economic geology of the 
Westport area in this valuable report. 

1896. McKay, Alex., and Gordon, H. A. : " Mining Eeserves, Nelson and Westland." 

Mines Eeports, C.-9. In this paper are important statements as to the geo- 
logical history, stratigraphical sequence, and economic geology of the district 
dealt with by the present bulletin. 

1896. Gordon, H. A. : " The Hysteromorphous Auriferous Deposits of the Tertiary and 
Cretaceous Periods in New Zealand." Trans. Amer. Inst. Min. Eng., vol. xxv, 
pp. 292-301. Pages 297 and 298 contain references to auriferous deposits near 
Cape Foulwind and the Buller Gorge. 

1898. Don, J. E. : " The Genesis of certain Auriferous Lodes." Trans. Amer. Inst. Min. 
Eng., vol. xxvii, pp. 564-668. In the course of his elaborate investigation on 
the gold-silver content of various rocks. Dr. Don assayed two samples of mica 
from Cape Foulwind and found that neither contained either gold or silver. 

1898. McKay, Alex. : " Notes on the Auriferous Ironsands of New Zealand." Mines 

Record, vol. i, pp. 395-96, 446-50. The ironsands of the Westport district 
are discussed in moderate detail. 

1899. Evans, W. P. : " Analyses (Technical) of New Zealand Coals." Trans., vol. 

xxxi, pp. 564-65. Several coals from the Westport district are discussed. 
1899. Evans, W. P. : " On the Apparent Occlusion of Sulphuretted Hydrogen in a 

Bituminous Coal." Trans., vol. xxxi, pp. 566-67. The sample of coal tested 

was from the "Hannah Hector" outcrop of the Westport - Cardiff Coal-mine 

(later part of the SeddonviUe State Mine). 
1899. "The Mokihinui Coal-mine (Papers relating to)." C.-8. 


1899. Park, James : " Notes on the Coalfields of New Zealand." Coll. Guardian, 
vol. Ixxviii, pp. 1214, 1215. (Not seen.) 

1899. McKay, Alex. : " Notes on the Auriferous Ironsands of New Zealand." Mines 

Reports, C.-9, pp. 15-16. This paper contains much the same information 
regarding the Westport district as McKay's former paper in Mines Jtecord, 
vol. i, 1897-8. (See also Mines Record, vol. iv. 1900-1, p. 321 ; " The New 
Zealand Mining Handbook," 1906, pp. 333-34 ; and Colliery Guardian, vol. 
Ixxv, 1898, p. 1041.) 

1900. Hutton, F. W. : " The Geological History of New Zealand." Trans., vol. xxxii, 

pp. 159-83. Amongst other details of geological history, Hutton, assuming 
the Maitai rocks to be of Carboniferous age, considers most of the granites 
along the axis of the Southern Alps to have been intruded during a period 
of folding in the Permian. Some of the granites, however, may be Jurassic. 
Hutton's Waipara System includes the Westport bituminous coals. 

1900. Hector, James : " Iron Ores and Sands of New Zealand." (Reprint from " Hand- 
book of New Zealand," 1886.) Mines Record, vol. iii, p. 473. 

1900. Park, James : " Notes on the Coalfields of New Zealand." Proc. Inst. Mining 
and Metall., vol. viii, p. 146 (see also Mines Record, vol. iii, p. 349). In this 
paper Park places the bituminous coals in the Eocene. A similar view is 
taken by the writers of this bulletin. See Chapters III and V. 

1900. " Fire at Cardiff Coal-mine (Papers and Correspondence relative to)." C.-8. 

1900. " Coal Committee : Report and Evidence." I.-7. This Committee was set up 

to report on the prices for coal. There is some information in the report 
regarding the physical characters and best means of handling the Westport 

1901. " Coal-mines of New Zealand (Report of Royal Commission appointed to inquire 

and report on the Working of), together with Minutes of Evidence." The 
report embodies full historical details concerning the mines worked by the West- 
port Coal, the Westport-Cardiff, and the Mokihinui Coal companies. Several 
important recommendations were made by the Commissioners. 

1901. "Proposed State Colliery: Reports by Messrs. H. A. Gordon, A. McKay, John 
Hayes, and A. Jamieson on the Coal Areas in the Westport-Cardiff Colliery." 
C.-9. Several recommendations with regard to trial bores and other matters 
were made by the authors of this report. 

1901. McKay, Alex.: "Report on Prospect of Coal at Waimangaroa Railway-station, 
Westport." C.-IO, p. 6. Some useful information about the disposition and 
thickness of the coal-bearing beds near Waimangaroa has been presented by 
McKay in this paper. 

1903. Hamilton, A. : " List of Papers on the Geology of New Zealand." Trans., 
vol. XXXV, pp. 489-546. 

1903. McKay, Alex. : " Gold-deposits of New Zealand." In this book, which consists 
mainly of reprints from Mines Record, vols, v and vi, the author on pp. 20-27 
discusses the gold occurrences near Westport, and on p. 27 mentions the oc- 
currence of galena in a reef at Cascade Creek. 

1903. " State Coal-mines (Report on the Working of)." Mines Report, C.-3b. This 
is a general report on the State coal-mines of the west coast of the South 
Island by the Manager, Mr. A. B. Lindop. Similar reports, with maps, by 
Messrs. James Bishop, James Fletcher, and I. A. James, appear in the Mines 
Reports of succeeding years. 
2*— BuUer- Mokihinui. 


1904. Park, James : " On the Age and Relations of the New Zealand Coalfields." 

Trans., vol. xxxvi, pp. 405-18. After criticizing the Cretaceo-Tertiary classifi- 
cations of the Geological Survey, and reviewing Captain Hutton's division of 
Ihe coal-measures into four series. Park divides the coalfields into two divisions 
— viz., the Oamaru (Miocene) and the Waipara (Cretaceous). The brown coals 
fall mainly in the Oamaru Series and the bituminous in the Waipara. 

1905. " Goldfields and Mines Committee : Report on Petition regarding Management 

of the State Mine at Seddonville, together with Minutes of Evidence, Reports, 
Papers, and Appendix." I.-4:B. In the evidence there is criticism of the 
colliery, and in the appendix are particulars regarding trials of Seddonville 
coal in various steamers. 
1905. Marshall, P. : " Geography of New Zealand." The author makes general references 
to physical features and economic resources of the area comprised in the Buller- 
Mokihinui Subdivision. 

1905. Park, James : " Ores and Useful Minerals considered economically." Mines 

Record, vol. viii, pp. 189-200, 241-45, and 288-91. On p. 193 Park states 
that the bituminous coals of New Zealand are of Upper Cretaceous Age. This 
work appeared in pamphlet form in 1905, and was included also in "A Text- 
book of Mining Geology " (see below). 

1906. Park, James : "A Text-book of Mining Geology for the Use of Mining Students 

and Miners." This book contains Park's previous paper, " Ores and Useful 
Minerals considered economically " (1905), and has a few further references 
to Westport geology. 
1906. Gordon, H. A. ; '' Mining and Engineering and Miners' Guide " (2nd edition). 

On p. 13 is a reference to the occurrence of osmium-iridium near Mokihinui. 
1906. Loughnan, R. A.: "First Gold Discoveries in New Zealand." Mines Record, 
vol. ix, pp. 497-503, and vol. x, pp. 1-9, 43-52, and 87-102. The material 
of this essay was reprinted in pamphlet form later in the same year. 
1906. Ross, Kenneth : " Some Experiments on the West Coast " (published in Bidler 

Miner). See Mines Record, vol. x, pp. 12-13. 
1906. Bell, J. M. : " The Salient Features of the Economic Geology of New Zealand." 
Economic Geology, vol. i. No. 8. (See extract in Mines Record, vol. xi, 
1907-8, p. 335.) Contains references to the Westport coal and to the general 
geology of New Zealand. 
1906. Galvin, P., and others : " The New Zealand Mining Handbook." This publi- 
cation, besides numerous reprints of papers by various writers, and various 
statistics, contain several articles not previously published that have reference 
to the Westport District. These are — 

Bell, J. M. : "A Sketch of the Economic Geology of New Zealand " (pp. 1-6). 
Gordon, H. A. : " The Rise and Progress of the Gold-mining Industry " 

(pp. 7-38).' 
Hayes, John : " Coal-mining in New Zealand " (pp. 383-96). 
Gordon, H. A. : " SeddonvHle State Mine " (pp. 425-37). 
McKay, Alex. : " Further Notes on the Iron-ores of New Zealand " (pp. 

1906. Sollas, W. J., and McKay, Alex. : "The Rocks of Cape ColvUle Peninsula," 

vol. ii. This, on p. 159, contains a description of granite from Cape Foulwind. 

1907. Townson, W. : " On the Vegetation of the Westport District." Trans., vol. 

xxxix, pp. 380-439. On pp. 383-86 the author records the geology of the 
district, chiefly by means of quotation from McKay's paper, " Report on the 
Geology of the South-west Part of Nelson and the Northern Part of West- 
land " (C.-13, 1895). 


1907. Bell, J. M. : " The Mineral Wealth of New Zealand." Journ. Roy. Colonial 
Inst., vol. xxxix, pp. 38-56, and Mines Record, vol. xi, 1907-8, p. 240 (extract). 

1907. Maclaurin, J. S. : " Report on Analyses of New Zealand Coals made at New 

Zealand International Exhibition, Christcliurch, 1906-7." Proximate analyses of 
eight samples of Westport coal are given on p. 6. 

1908. Maclaren, J. Malcolm : " Gold, its G-eological Occurrence and Geographical Dis- 

tribution." On p. 54 the author states that he considers that gold-deposition 
on the West Coast may be genetically connected with the granites intruded 
during the Middle Mesozoic uplift of the Southern Alps. Page 91 has a brief 
reference to the auriferous beach-sands of New Zealand. 

1908. Bell, J. M. : " New Zealand as a Mining Country." Australian Mining Standard, 

No. 28, and Mines Record, vol. xii, 1908-9, p. 289. In this is a brief refer- 
ence to the Westport coal-deposits. 

1909. Reed, P. : " Coal-mining Methods in New Zealand." Mines Record, vol. xii, p. 226. 
1909. Park, James : " Outline of New Zealand Geology." Mines Record, vol. xii, 

pp. 294-97, 337-41, 387-90, and 443-40. This sketch of New Zealand geology 
was later expanded into book form in " The Geology of New Zealand," 1910 

1909. Bell, J. M. : " Mining in New Zealand." Australian Mining Standard, 1909. 

1909. Bell, J. M. : " The Economic Geology of New Zealand." Proc. Aust. Inst. Min. 
Eng., vol. xiii, 1909, p. 66. 

1909. Park, James : " History of Mining in New Zealand." The Mining Journal, 

London, 75th Anniversary Number, Aug., 1909. 

1910. Park, James : " The Geology of New Zealand." In this book the author makes 

numerous references to points concerning the geology of the Buller - Mokihinui 
Subdivision ; chapters viii and xiii, dealing with the coal-measures, are par- 
ticularly important. The bituminous coals are placed in the Waimangaroa Series 
of Eocene age, and the brown coals in the Oamaru Series of Miocene age. 
The bibliography given on pages 409-64 is very useful. 

1911. Morgan, P. G. : " The Geology of the Greymouth Subdivision, North Westland." 

New Zealand Geological Survey Bulletin No. 13 (New Series). This deals with 
an area similar in many ways to the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision, and contains 
brief references to its geology. 

1911. Morgan, P. G. : " Field-work in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision." Fifth Annual 
Rep. (N.S.) of the N.Z.G.S., pp. 3-9. 

1911. Marshall, P., Speight, R., and Cotton, C. A. : " Younger Rock Series of New 
Zealand." Trans, vol. xliii, pp. 378-407. On pp. 401-2, this paper, important 
by reason of its bearing upon the question of the ages of the New Zealand 
coal-measures, contains a summary of the views held by Professor Park as to 
these ages. 

1911. Marshall, P. : " New Zealand and Adjacent Islands." Handbucli der Regionalen 

Geologie, 5 Heft, Band vii, Abteilung 1. This publication has many statements 
relative to the geology of the Westport district. 

1912. Marshall, P. : " Geology of New Zealand." On page 144 there is mention of gold 

beaches and gravels near Westport, and, on p. 159, of the coal of the district. 
Marshall (p. 190) places Hector's " Buller Series," which originally included the 
bituminous coal-seams of the Westport district, in the Oamaru Series. He does 
not consider that there is any evidence of the coal having been deeply covered. 
1912. " Royal Commission on Mines (Report of)." C.-4, Sess. I. On pp. 33-35 is a 
section on " The Profitable Utilization ol the Soft Bituminous and Lignite Coals 
of the Westport District of New Zealand," and on ))|), 152 67 is tlie ovidoncc 
taken with I'egard to briquette-manufacture. 

. 22 

1912. Morgan, P. G. : " Field-work in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision." Sixth Annual 

Rep. (N.S.) of the N.Z.G.S., pp. 3-4. 

1913. Morgan, P. G. : " Field-work in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision " ; " The Coal 

Possibilities of the Westport Flats " ; " Cement-materials near Cape Foulwind." 
Seventh Annual Rep. (N.S.) of the N.Z.G.S., pp. 117-19, 124-28. 

1913. Morgan, P. G. : " Coal Resources of New Zealand." Proc. Aust. Inst, of Min. 

Eng. (New Series) No. 9, pp. 1-27. Contains brief descriptions of the Buller- 
Mokihinui and the Charleston-Brighton coalfields, with estimates of quantity of 
coal available. (See also " Coal Resources of the World," Toronto, 1913, which 
contains (pp. 71-85) a similar article.) 

1914. Thomson, James Allan : " Materials for the Palaeontology of New Zealand." 

Palseontological Bulletin No. 1, N.Z.G.S. 
1914. Bartrum, J. A. : " The Geological History of the Westport-Charleston High-level 

Terraces." Trans., vol. xlvi, pp. 255-62. 
1914. Bartrum, J. A. : " Some Intrusive Igneous Rocks from the Westport District." 

Trans., vol. xlvi, pp. 262-69. 
1914. Morgan, P. G. : " Unconformities in the Stratified Rocks of the West Coast of 

the South Island." Trans., vol. xlvi, pp. 270-78. 

Brief references too numerous to be included in the above list are also to be found 
in the Annual Reports of the Colonial Museum and Laboratory, which later appear for 
some years as the Reports of the Colonial and more recently as those of the Dominion 
Laboratory. In these useful reports the results of most of the analyses and assays 
executed at the Laboratory are yearly published ; in the earlier reports of the Colonial 
Museum and Laboratory geological data were also included. 

■ The New Zealand Mines Record, published monthly fi'om August, 1897, to May, 
1909, and the Reports of the New Zealand Mines Department (" Papers and Reports 
relating to Minerals and Mining "), which have appeared annually since 1887, contain a 
great quantity of useful information, supplied chiefly by the reports of the Wardens 
and Inspectors of Mines. 

There are also numerous more or less passing references to New Zealand geology 
and mining in many mining journals and other publication published beyond New 
Zealand, but it has been found impracticable to refer to more than the most important 
of these. 

In the early copies of the Nelson Eixaminer references to the early explorations of 
the province are to be found, but access to such papers was not obtainable by the 
writers of this bulletin. 

Lastly, the reports of Inspectors of Mines and Goldfields Wardens previous to 1887, 
and various other similar reports and papers appearing, like them, in parliamentary 
papers, are a source of useful knowledge with regard to the history of mining. Most 
of those having any noteworthy reference to the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision will be 
found in the following list : 1872, G.-4 ; 1873, H.-7 ; 1874, H.-9 ; 1875, H.-3, H.-27 ; 
1876, H.-3 ; 1877, H.-l ; 1878, H.-4 ; 1879, Sess. 1, H.-16 ; 1879, Sess. II, H.-ll, 
I.-3a; 1880, H.-18, H.-26 ; 1881, H.-14, H.-17 ; 1882, H.-13, H.-19 ; 1883, H.-5, 
H.-ll ; 1884, Sess. I, C.-2, C.-5, H.-9 ; 1885, C.-2, C.-4, C.-6 ; 1886, C.-2, C.-4, 
C.-4A, C.-4C. 

To the above hst may be added : 1873, E.-2a (pp. 5-11), and a few other 
parliamentary papers. 


^ =T-bULccrs d-ranvn, 













Showing Coal Workings 

Scale of Chains 






Introduction . . . . . . 23 

(I.) Alluvial Gold-mining .. ..23 

General and Historical Account . . 23 
Hydraulic and Ground Sluicing . . 24 
Driving-out . . . . . . 25 

Black-sanding . . . . . . 26 

Dredging . . . . . . 26 

Cement Mining . . . . 28 

"Fly-catching" .. ..28 

(2.) Lode Mining . . . . . . 29 

(3.) Gold -production of the Wcstport Dis- 
trict .. .. .. ..30 

(4.) Coal-mining . . . . . . 31 

General and Historical Account . . 31 
Coal-mining Leases . . . . 35 

BuUer Coalfield Reserve . . 36 

Mining Methods . . . . 36 

(4.) Coal-mining — continued. 

Transport on Main Roads . . 38 
Westport Coal Company's Den- 

niston Collieries . . . . 38 

Westport Coal Company's MiUer- 

ton CoUiery . . . . 38 

Westport-Stockton Coal Com- 
pany's Mine . . . . 38 

Seddonville State Coal-mine . . 39 

Drainage . . . . . . 39 

Output of Coal . . . . 39 

Future Prospects of Coal-mining. . 42 

Conservation of Coal Resources . . 43 
Utilization of Friable Coal and 

Slack .. .. ..45 

Coking . . . . . . 45 

Briquetting . . . . . , 45 

(5.) Rock-quarrying . . ... . . 46 


Half a century ago the alluvial gold of the Westport district was just beginning to 
attract attention : then quickly came rush after rush, and almost at a bound alluvial 
mining reached its zenith. Many small fortunes were rapidly made, and in some cases 
as rapidly lost. In a few years gold-mining began to decline, and in spite of the skill 
and the industry of the miner the decline has continued almost uninterruptedly to the 
present time, so that to-day the gold-production as compared with that of forty to fifty 
years ago is relatively unimportant. As gold-mining fell away, however, the more 
prosaic but more solid industry of coal-mining grew and expanded, until now it has 
become the mainstay of the Westport district. 

The various mining operations of the subdivision resolve themselves into three classes 
— namely, alluvial gold-mining, lode mining, and coal-mining. In addition, the extensive 
quarrying-works conducted by the Westport Harbour Board at Cape Foulwind may be 
regarded as falling into the category of " mining." 

(1.) Alluvial Gold-mining. 
General and Historical Account. 

The credit for the discovery of gold in the western part of the South Island 
probably belongs to a member of John Rochfort's survey party, who, on the 8th 
November, 1859, accidentally found a small nugget during the progress of his dailj' 
work on the bank of the Buller River at or near the spot now known as " Old 
Diggings." A party of miners from Nelson is also said to have found gold in the 
Buller River before 1860. Many diggers were soon at work on the banks of the 
Buller and other streams, and on the sea-beaches, but there is little recorded concerning 
the progress of gold-discovery in these early days. Burnett, liowever, in 1862, states 
that the Waimangaroa was then being worked for gold. 

In 1865 highly important discoveries of ancient beach leads ricli in gokl were nuide 
at Charleston and Brighton, and during 1867 similar leads were found at Addison's 
and pi'obably also at Bradshaw's, which, according to the early ^yardc^'s reports. 


was then considered as part of Addison's Flat. In the same year rich auriferous 
gravels were also found north of the BuUer at Caledonian, German, Giles, and 
Rochfort terraces, and the discovery of old beach leads at the mouth of the Mokihinui 
soon followed. 

The abundance of gold caused great excitement, and presently* twenty thousand 
miners, it is said, were at work between Brighton and Mokihinui. In some cases, 
however, the leads were shallow and were quickly exhausted, so that the number of 
diggers rapidly decreased after the first few years. In 1887 not more than five 
hundred men were at work on the alluvial deposits, and in 1912 the total number 
of alluvial miners in the whole district, including Karamea, was only seventy-one.* 

In the earlier days of alluvial mining gold was won chiefly by various methods of 
ground-sluicing, driving-out, and black-sanding ; but about 1887, so far as can be 
gathered from the available reports, cement-crushing, which had begun as early as 1872, 
was being extensively prosecuted at Charleston, Addison's, and Bradshaw's, and the 
important innovation of hydraulic sluicing was being tried at Fairdown. The 
introduction of dredging to the district dates from 1888 or thereabouts, when McQueen 
and Co.'s dredge was built near the beach a few miles south of the Ngakawau River. f 
A year or two later several dredges were at work in the Buller River and elsewhere, 
but on the whole were not commercially successful, partly perhaps through the lack 
of gold in the wash, but more largely through faults in construction and unexpected 
difficulties and misfortune. In 1900 a dredging " boom " set in, and a considerable 
number of new dredges was built. In many cases, however, the prospects on which 
the new concerns had been floated were selected in the interests of the seller from 
favourable spots, and in several instances were the results of " salting."J Through 
these causes, added to others, such as failure to profit by previous experience, the 
dredging " boom " ended in disastrous failure. A few of the companies were recon- 
structed, mostly on the basis of private ownership, and these struggled on for a few 
years, with occasional gleams of success. 

At the present time dredging has ceased, and alluvial mining is confined to a 
little desultory cement-crushing, to black-sanding, and to the sluicing operations of a 
few parties of miners. 

Hydraulic and Ground Sluicing. 
Even at the present time, when the richest and most accessible ground has been 
worked out, a moderate amount of gold is still being won profitably by sluicing. In 
the Westport district the chief centres of activity are Charleston, Addison's Flat, 
Bradshaw's, and Fairdown. Among the claims at work are Powell's, near Charleston ; 
McCann's, McKnight's, Carmody's, and the Shamrock (Westland Gold-mining Syndicate), 
at Addison's ; Dennehy's at Bull's ; and the Carthage Company's claim, near Fairdown. 
Various disadvantages, many of which are common to all alluvial fields, reduce profits, 
and prevent old claims from being worked on a larger scale or new ones from being 
started. The chief of these are — 

(1.) Long water-races and expensive pipe-lines are in most cases required to 

bring the necessary water to the claims. 
(2.) The chief gold-content of the gravels being worked is usually in leads more 
or less deeply covered by barren, or nearly barren, gravels, which have 
to be sluiced away in order to enable the gold-bearing wash to be reached. 
(3.) There is seldom adequate fall for tailings, hence elevating methods become 

* Mines Report, C.-2, 1912, p. xvii. 

t Mines Report, C.-2, 1889, p. 63. 

j See Mines Report, C.-3, 1902, p. 100. 


(4.) The bulk of the gold is in minute particles, and there is consequently 

a difficulty in saving it, this difficulty being increased when the gold 

is " rusty." 
(5.) On account of the gold occurring in runs or leads which are not continuous 

but lenticular, the distribution of payable wash is patchy and uncertain. 
(6.) In some places tightly cemented black-sand beds have to be broken by 

explosives before they can be sluiced. 

In few claims have the large fluvio-glacial boulders so common in the auriferous 
gravels of Westland to be removed. The Carthage Company, however, has experienced 
considerable difficulty with buried timber. As a general rule, the material is a 
convenient size for sluicing (as might be expected with beach deposits), and except 
in the cemented black-sand layers, does not appear to be particularly tight. 

In the earlier workings the ground was shallow, and, as previously mentioned, 
usually consisted of beach gravels and sands, with their auriferous content chiefly in 
black-sand layers. In a few claims the gold seems to have been further concentrated 
by stream-action. At the present day the deeper leads alone remain to be worked. 

The bottom on which the gold-bearing material rests varies widely. Near 
Charleston shallow drift commonly lies on wave-cut benches of Tertiary coal-measures 
or of underlying gneiss, but " false " gravel and sand " bottoms," here as elsewhere, 
are also common. At Addison's Flat blue Miocene claystone formed the bedrock of 
many of the claims now abandoned, and hence arose the miners' term of " Blue 
Bottom." The black-sand lead between Fairdown and the sea, worked by tbe Carthage 
Company, rests on a " false bottom " of marine material. 

A brief account of the sluicing methods may be of interest. Ground-sluicing, 
the prevailing method of the pioneer miners, is now generally superseded by the 
hydraulic methods suited to the deeper grouiid. Where, as is commonly the case, the 
material has to be elevated, one of two methods of efiecting this is adopted. The 
first, the " blow-up " method, requires considerable head and volume of water, and 
consists in sluicing the gravels into a short race leading to a small hopper, from 
which a rising pipe connects with the gold-saving plant. A strong jet of water, 
entering the rising or " elevating " pipe under high pressure, sucks the material in 
the hopper into the pipe, and by its impetus carries this to the top, where the coarse 
gravel, after passing over iron gratings, is washed to the tailing-dump, whilst the fine 
material is distributed over the gold-saving tables. In the second or water-balance 
method of elevating, the drift is carried by ground or hydraulic sluicing into a some- 
what long hopper ; this has a grating bottom through which the fine material and 
water escape to a tail-race tunnel, whilst the coarse stuff is discharged periodically 
from the end of the hopper into a waiting truck, and is drawn upwards on an inclined 
tramway to a tipping-platform by a downward-running water-filled truck or tank. This 
latter is again raised to the tipping-platform by partly filling the discharged stone 
truck with water. At Addison's Flat the great disadvantage of the alluvial claims 
is that lack of fall necessitates the driving of costly tail-race tunnels, some of which 
are over a mile in length. Through these the fine portion of the wash passes with 
the water to' the gold-saving tables. The construction of the tables involves no points of 
special interest. The concentrates are collected on them by " blanketing " of various 
fabrics, and are then, as a rule, treated in amalgamating-barrels in order to recover ' 
the gold. 


In the early years of the goldfields the deeper ground, particularly at Addison's 
Flat, was extensively worked by means of driving-out. This method of mining, however, 


being applicable only to comparatively rich ground, is now almost obsolete in the 
Westport district, with the exception that a little driving, more by way of prospecting 
than anything else, is still occasionally done on deeply covered cement leads. 


Black-sanding consists in extracting the gold from the auriferous black-sand of the 
present sea-beaches. Originally of great richness, the beaches have been so often 
worked that they now yield but a scanty and uncertain return to the one or two 
dozen men who spend occasional days at black-sanding. Beach-sands have been 
worked for some miles both east and west of the mouth of the Buller, and more 
especially at Rahui (" The Beach ") near Charleston, where an interesting method of 
black-sand treatment is in vogue (see Plates III and IV). The claims are pegged 
as long narrow strips at right angles to the coast-line. To these water is brought by 
a number of wooden flumes, from which it is distributed by flexible pipes to the 
washing- appliances, • these being mounted on stout hand-barrows. The gold-bearing 
sand and gravel are shovelled into hoppers, which retain the coarser material on 
gratings, whilst the sand, along with the gold, passes through the gratings to narrow 
tables covered by sacking, blanketing, matting, or plush. The gold is recovered 
from the table concentrates by amalgamation. In the neighbourhood of Westport the 
gold-saving appliances generally used are small amalgamated copper plates set on a 
portable wooden frame, similar to those used in North Westland. 


Reference has already been made to McQueen and Co.'s dredge, built south of 
the Ngakawau River in 1888. The gold-saving appliances were found ineffective, 
and gold, it may be suspected, was not overplentiful, so that work soon ceased.* The 
McQueen Company was followed by the New Era Company, which erected a dredge 
near the beach about fifteen miles north of Westport, and in 1891 began active opera- 
tions. The returns, however, were poor, and work was soon stopped. f Numerous 
dredging claims were pegged out in 1888 on or near the coast of the subdivision, but 
only those mentioned above are known to have been in actual operation during the next 
few years. During the dredging " boom " of 1900 many claims were taken up in the 
coastal plain district. Several of these, for example the Island Creek,J and Wareatea, 
which were floated on the strength of excellent prospects, failed to recover any appreci- 
able amount of gold when dredging operations began. The Fairdown Gold-dredging 
Company had partly built a dredge when, owing to rumours of " salting " in a neigh- 
bouring claim, the claim was reprospected, with most unsatisfactory results.§ The 
Wareatea dredge was bought by the Waimangaroa River Gold-dredging Company, and 
re-erected near Waimangaroa during 1902. Owing, it is stated, to large boulders, the 
dredge was unsuccessful, and work was entirely stopped in 1903. During this 
year the New Fairdown Gold-dredging Company is recorded as having obtained 177 oz. 
of gold, worth £703 ; but no other particulars are available. In all, five or six dredges 
are known to have been built between Westport and Ngakawau, but none is known 
to have obtained any large quantity of gold, or to have paid working-expenses for 
even a short period. 

The Buller River has been dredged from near the Blackwater River junction to a 
point not far below Lyell. Only the first two or three miles and the last mile of this 

* Mines Report, C.-3, 1890, pp. 85-86. 

t Mines Report, C.-3a, 1892, p. 18. 

i This dredge was located near Waimangaroa, and not at Island Creek south of the BuUer. 

§ Mines Report, C.-3, 1902, p. 100. 






part of the river are in the subdivision as mapped, but it will be convenient to give a 
sketch of the dredging industry on the whole of the river below Lyell. The first dredge 
on the Buller River was that built by the WhiteclifEs Dredging Company, which began 
work at the " Old Diggings " in 1891.* Very poor returns appear to have been ob- 
tained. Soon after the company failed, owing to its dredge being wrecked during a 
fresh in the river. The dredge was bought by a working party, raised, and successfully 
reworked as the " Cocksparrow " dredge. In 1893 it was shifted up the river to the 
neighbourhood of Three - channel Flat,f where some profitable returns were obtained. 
For several years, during which the " Cocksparrow " was moved up and down the 
Buller from Feddersen's Farm, two or three miles from Lyell, to a short distance 
below Inangahua Junction, and changed ownership and title on several occasions, 
becoming successively the Exchange and the Consolidated and finallyj the Old Diggings, 
there was little alteration in the dredging industry. In 1900, however, the Mokoia 
was at work on the Buller near Three - channel Flat, and the Rocklands Beach, Buller 
Junction, Premier, and Welcome dredges were in course of construction. In 1901 the 
Eldorado and Feddersen (afterwards the New Feddersen) gold-dredging companies were 
building dredges. The ancient Cocksparrow was brought down the river to a point 
above Berlin's, and there was intermittently worked by the Old Diggings Gold-dredging 

All these dredges had chequered careers. The Mokoia, which was on the whole 
the most successful, after obtaining some gold, was sold about 1906 to Messrs. De 
FilUppi and others, who got some good returns. They then sold the dredge to a com- 
pany or syndicate known as the New Mokoia, which was not successful, and in 1911 went 
into liquidation. The Feddersen Gold-dredging Company's dredge was stranded shortly 
after it began operations. The company then sold out and went into liquidation about 
the end of 1903, the Welcome and Premier companies (Three-channel Flat) following 
suit in 1904, and the Rocklands Beach in 1905. The various dredges were nearly all 
subsequently worked by private companies or syndicates, and several changed hands 
more than once. In 1907 there were only three dredges working on the river between 
Lyell and Westport, and in 1911 all operations ceased. 

The only dredging returns available are those obtained by the publicly registered 
companies, which on the whole were far from payable, though some dividends were 
declared. The private syndicates composed of working shareholders, who had bought 
second-hand dredges for little or nothing, did better, but probably none made any 
great profit. The chief reason for this comparative failure was not so much the want 
of gold as the severe floods in the river, which time after time caused the dredges to 
sink at their moorings or to break away. Another factor promoting failure was tlie 
inefficient design of several of the dredges. 

The following particulars have been gathered from the Mines Reports issued during 
the past twenty years, and, though incomplete, will give a fairly accurate idea of the 
vicissitudes of dredging on the Buller River. The Cocksparrow Gold-dredging Company 
during the years 1894 to 1896 obtained 1,981 oz. of gold, worth £7,474, and paid £525 
in dividends. The Exchange Gold-dredging Company, which subsequently owned the 
dredge for two or three years, seems to have been a private syndicate, with headquarters 
at Christchurch, and its returns do not appear in the Mines Reports. The Consolidated 
Dredging Company, with the same dredge from 1899 to 1901, obtained 533 oz. of 
gold, worth £2,084, but paid no dividends. The Mokoia Gold-dredging Company 
obtained 5,271 oz. of gold, worth £20,081, between 1901 and 1905 : the dividends paid 

* Mines Report, C.-3a, 1892, p. 18. 
t Mines Report, C.-3a, 1894, p. 27. 

X Mines Report, C.-3b, 1 898, p. 4, casually mentions the " Excelsior dredge, Three-channel Flat." Tiii.s 
may be the "Cocksparrow." 


amounted"^to'^£l,925. The Feddersen Gold-dredging Company in 1903 obtained 477 oz., 
worth £1,825 ; the New Feddersen Gold-dredging Company between 1904 and 1906 
obtained 2,092 oz., worth £8,202, and paid £1,272 in dividends. The Premier Gold- 
dredging Company between 1901 and 1903 obtained [1,496 oz., valued at £5,882, and 
paid £262 in dividends. The Buller Junction Gold-dredging Company between 1901 
and 1903 obtained 3,809 oz., worth £14,865, and paid £3,488 in dividends. A further 
4391 oz. [(worth, say, £1,714) was won in 1904.* The Rocklands Beach Gold-dredging 
Company between 1902 and 1904 obtained 2,313 oz., worth £9,080, but paid no dividend. 
In all, the six dredges and eight companies whose returns are known obtained from 
the Buller River 18,411 oz. of gold, worth approximately £71,207, and paid only £7,472 
in dividends. The profits made by private syndicates probably did not cover the sums 
expended by them in buying and repairing dredges. Since eight dredges were ibuilt, 
and since all at one time or another were worked at a loss, it is evident that fgold- 
dredging on the Buller River was an unprofitable industry. 

Cement Mining. 

Owing to peroxidation of the iron-content having caused the auriferous black-sands 
of the old beach leads in many places to become firmly cemented, thej^ have to be 
crushed in order to allow extraction of the gold. In past years the usual method of 
doing this was to crush the cement in a stamper battery which discharged on tables 
covered with blanketing or similar material. The concentrates from these were finally 
amalgamated in order to recover the gold. In some cases copper plates were used, 
as well as blanket tables. Considerable difficulty was experienced in saving the gold, 
partly on account of its fine state of division, which caused flotation losses, and partly 
by reason of a thin coating of iron oxide on the gold grains, which prevented amalgam- 
ation.f Various methods of remedying these troubles were tried, among these being 
the use of sodium amalgam to promote amalgamation, and cyanidation as a substitute 
for amalgamation. The latter method, however, after being tested at Bradshaw's,;); 
was deemed unsuccessful. 

Plad it not been for the very considerable gold-losses, the cement claims would have 
been profitable concerns, for, according to returns in the Mines Report of 1893, the 
cement crushed at Addison's Flat averaged 10 dwt. per ton, whilst the battery costs 
were extremely low. There seems to be no reason why, with the aid of modern know- 
ledge, such or even much poorer material should not be profitably treated. 

At the present time the only cement-crushing in the Westport district is the little 
occasionally done when other work is slack, by a few of the settlers in the Charleston 

" Fly-catching." 

In past years some of the fine gold, and more especially the float gold that escaped 
from the cement batteries and the sluicing claims of the Bradshaw's-Addison's- 
Charleston district, was recovered by various devices, most of which came under the 
designation of " fly-catching." The principal of these devices consisted of tables 
covered with coconut - matting, blanketing, canvas, or similar material, which were 
placed in the tail-races and stream-channels, and over which the tailings and water 
ran in a very thin stream.§ In this way very profitable returns were frequently 

* Mines Report, C.-3, 1905, p. 100 (table in Warden's Report). 
t The question of " rusty " gold is further discussed ia Chapter VI. 
X Mines Report, C.-3, 1910, p. 43, and C.-3, 1911, p. 33. 

§ The only noteworthy references to " fly-catching " observed in the Mines Reports will be found in C.-5, 
1888, p. 36, and C.-2, 1889, p. 61. McKay's reports make casual mention. 


(2.) Lode Mining. 

The first record of the discoveries of metalliferous lodes in the Buller-Mokihinui 
Subdivision in the literature available to the writers is given by parliamentary paper 
H.-7, 1873, wherein the Warden for the Westport district mentions the " old reefing 
claim " found in Cascade Creek, and also the discovery of a reef up the Mokihinui Eiver 
in the locality now sometimes called Seatonville.* In spite of incredible difficulties in 
the matter of transport, gold-seekers soon erected machinery on the Mokihinui River 
claims. The Halcyon was the first battery to do any crushing, but results were 
apparently unsatisfactory, and no further record of the district is found until 1882, 
when, in the Warden's report, it is stated that good gold had been discovered near 
the old Halcyon Claim. In consequence the South Pacific, Red Queen, and Mokihinui 
companies were actively developing their claims, whilst the Guiding Star, Morning Star, 
and Golden Crown companies were prospecting. Meanwhile the Christmas Eve Company 
was prospecting in Cascade Creek, and the Try Again and Great Republic companies 
were at work in Stony Creek, near Waimangaroa, where also gold-bearing lodes had 
recently been discovered. 

The Red Queen Company was successful in finding some small and lenticular but 
rich veins, from which 1,560 tons of quartz, yielding 29 dwt. of gold per ton, was 
extracted,! and £2,400 paid in dividends. During 1885 a lode 1 ft. to 2 ft. thick, very 
flat, and encased in very hard country, was worked.J In 1886 the lode was reported 
as 6 in. to 18 in. wide, with well-defined walls. In this year the Southern Light 
Company and the Mokihinui Company were also at work. No work of any conse- 
quence was done at Mokihinui Reefs for some years, but in 1890 and 1891 the Red 
Queen and South Pacific (or South Pacific Extended) claims were again being worked. 
The Nile Gold-mining Company, which since 1888 or earlier had been prospecting an 
area in Rough-and-Tumble Creek, and had built a small battery, was reported in 1890 
as defunct. In 1895 the hardy Red Queen Company and the Swanston Company 
were again prospecting at Mokihinui Reefs. In 1897 the Lady Agnes Claim was also 
being prospected. After being practically abandoned for several years the Mokihinui 
Reefs district was again given a trial in 1901 and 1902, in which latter year the Red 
Queen was working a 6 in. to 9 in. leader. The Lady Agnes was worked in 1903, but 
results were unsatisfactory. The Red Queen, however, obtained some gold year by 
year till 1910. Desultory prospecting continued, and during 1911 and 1912 a massive 
quartz outcrop which had been previously neglected was prospected with apparently 
favourable results. Towards the end of 1912 the Red Queen property became merged 
in Swastika Gold-mines, Limited, which has since continued to develop the quartz blow 
mentioned above, and several small veins in the same locality, but at a higher level. 

In 1874 a quartz lode was discovered in New [Creek,§ a small stream flowing into the 
Buller about two miles below the ancient mining township of Lyell. Among the mines 
prospected at that time or later were the Victory United,]] the Victor Emmanuel,]] the 
Tichborne, and the Sir Charles Napier. The last three claims were in the area which 
has lately been geologically surveyed. The Victor Emmanuel Company erected a battery, 
the remains of which may still be seen near the junction of Tichborne and New creeks, 
but the returns therefrom, if any, are not available. Of late years some development- 

* Seatonville, or, as it is more commonly called, Mokihinui Reefs, is outside the subdivision, but some 
account of the mining companies which worked here will be given. 

t MiiKvs Report, C.-3, 1890, p. 103. 

tC.-4o, 1886, p. 11. 

§ H.-9, 1874, p. 14. 

II An account of these claims is given by T. J. Metcalf in " A Ramble through the Inangahua, Lyell, 
and Collingwood Reefs," circa 1882, pp. 4, 5, 10, and 11. The cliief discoveries in the Now Creek district 
were made between 1879 and 1881. 


work has been done upon the Victory lode, which in places assays fairly well. The 
country, however, is hard, the ore-body probably small, and the locality difl&cult of 
access. Thus prospecting has again come to a standstill in the New Creek watershed. 

In 1882, as, previously mentioned, the Try Again and Great Eepublic companies were 
at work in Stony Creek, near Waimangaroa. The latter company erected a battery, 
and by 1885 had obtained 1,433 oz. of gold from 1,065 tons of quartz. Before 1890 
the claim had yielded gold to the value of about £12,000,* and had paid dividends to 
the amount of £3,800,t but there is no record of any subsequent production, though the 
claim was again tested in 1895 and later years. In 1901 it was being prospected by a 
syndicate known as the Stony Creek Gold-mining Company. In 1895 the Britannia 
Gold-mining Company began a promising but on the whole not profitable career in the 
same locality. Gold-production began in 1900, and in 1910, when mining operations 
were suspended, 4,415 oz. of gold, worth, £16,645, had been obtained, and £3,342 had 
been paid in dividends. Since then only desultor)'' prospecting has been done in the 
neighbourhood of Stony Creek. A small stamp battery with cyanide plant, &c., at a 
height of 1,400 ft. is still practically in working-order. It was supplied with quartz 
from the various mine-workings by a series of aerial and surface trams. 

In 1888 the Beaconsfield Gold-mining Company began to work a lode varying fi'om 
1 ft. to 4 ft. in width on the south side of the Waimangaroa Eiver, not far above 
Conn's Creek, but ceased . operations about 1890. In 1897 the claim was again taken 
up by the Twins Gold-mining Company, which did a little development-work, and 
crushed some quartz in a small battery built on the north bank of the Waimangaroa, 
which is still standing. The results, however, were unsatisfactory. 

During 1887 and 1888,1 or thereabouts, the Denniston Quartz-mining Company 
prospected a small inlier of greywacke exposed about a mile to the south of Denniston. 
A quartz vein of no great size outcrops here, and in the workings, which consisted of a 
shaft 150 ft. deep with several short crosscuts, two or three leaders, carrying, it is said, 
payable gold, were found. The mine, however, did not reach a producing stage. 

(3.) Gold-production op the Westport District. 
The only records obtainable giving any statistics relating to the gold won from the 
Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision are the tables published in various parliamentary papers 
dealing with the goldfields and the mining industry. These, which from 1887 onwards 
will be ■ found attached to the Mines Statements, give the quantity and value of the 
gold entered for exportation at Westport or as coming from the BuUer County. No 
statistical record of gold produced prior to April, 1870, has been found, and since at 
that date the production of alluvial gold had already passed its zenith, the available 
data give an inadequate idea of the immense amount of gold that has been extracted 
from the auriferous deposits of the Westport district. The table following this paragraph 
includes most of the Lyell gold, and probably all the gold obtained by dredging on the 
Buller River within the Inangahua Surve}?^ District. On the other hand, some of the 
BuUer gold was exported from Greymouth, Hokitika, and even Nelson without being 
credited to the producing district,§ whilst there can be no doubt that an appreciable 
amount of gold has been carried out of the country by Chinese diggers and others 
without passing through the Customs. The total production given by the table, 
£2,659,330, is that of Buller County rather than of the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision. 
If at the end of 1886, or thereabouts, the value of gold won in the Buller district 

* Mines Report, C.-3, 1898, p. 90. 

t Mines Report, C.-5, 1888, p. 35. 

{Mines Reports, C.-6, 1888, p. 17, and C.-2, 1889, p. 110. 

§ " The New Zealand Mining Handbook," 1906, p. 113. 


amounted to £3,600,000, as estimated in 1887*, then the gold-production to the end of 
1913 would be about £4,675,000. Of this four-fifths may be assigned to the Buller- 
Mokihinui Subdivision. 

Table showing Gold exported from Westport or Buller County, 1870-1913. 

t Date. 



Total from 1st April, 1870. 



From Westport (Buller County after 31st 

March, 1889)— 

1st April, 1870, to end of 1880 . . . . , 335,911 

1st January, 1881, to 31st March, 1890 . . ' 90,784 

From Buller County — 

1st April, 1890, to 31st March, 1895 . . 76,765 

1st April, 1895, to 31st March, 1900 . . ! 58,197 

1st April, 1900, to 31st December, 1905 . . | 60,947 

1st January, 1906, to 31st December, 1910 ' 33,294 

1st January, 1911, to 31st December, 1911 ! 2,921 

1st January, 1912, to 31st December, 1912 3,457 

1st January, 1913, to 31st December, 1913 3,302 













The gold produced by the quartz-mines of the district is included in the above 
table. The production of each mine, so far as ascertainable, is given in Chapter VI. 


General and Historical Account. 

Messrs. Charles Heaphy and Thomas Brunner, so far as can be ascertained from 
the available records, were the first to discover coal in the Westport district. During 
an exploring trip in 1846 they observed a denuded outcrop of what Heaphy describes 
as " capital coal " riear the Waitakere River. f In 1859 Mr. John Rochfort found 
pieces of bituminous coal in the Waimangaroa River and reobserved lignite near 
the Waitakere or Nile River (Charleston). J 

Dr. Julius von Haast, in July, 1860, during the course of a geological reconnaissance 
of western Nelson, found a valuable seam of bituminous coal on the relatively flat 
upland country between Mounts Rochfort and William, close to the present township of 
Coalbrookdale, a name given by von Haast to the valley in which the coal outcropped.§ 
The discovery aroused great interest, and the Nelson Provincial Government, without 
loss of time, sent Mr. James Burnett to survey the coalfield. His first report, published 
in the Nelson Gazette in 1862, contains many important details in connection with the 
geology of the field. Mr. Burnett estimated, on what he considered a conservative basis, 
that 72,600,000 tons of coal could be extracted from the so-called Coalbrookdale 
" plateau " alone. During 1862 he also examined a 7 ft. coal-seam at the Mokihinui 
River ; whilst in 1863 he made a more detailed inspection of this locality, the results 
of which were made known by a report published in tlie Nelson Gazette. 

* " The Handbook of New Zealand Mines," 1887, p. 211. 

t Heaphy, Charles : " Notes of an Exploration to Kawatiri and Araura [Arahura] on the West Coast 
of the Middle Island." The New Zealand .Journal, vol. vii, 1847, No. 192, p. 116. 

J J. Rochfort : " Journal of two Expeditions to the West Coast of the Middle Island of New Zealand 
in 1859." Jour. Roy. Geog. Soc., vol. xxxii, 1862. 

§ Von Haast : " Topographical and Geological Exploration of the Western Districts of the Nelson 
Province, N.Z.," 1861, pp. 56, 114. 


In the literature available to tke writers the first record of actual coal-mining in the 
Westport district is a statement by Sir James Hector, made in 1867,* that some years 
previously a coal-mine had been opened at seven (more correctly three or four) miles 
from the mouth of the Mokihinui River. Probably the mine thus referred to by 
Hector was situated on the north bank of the Mokihinui River opposite the islands 
below Seddonville, slightly over three miles from the sea. At this point some 
development-work, including a drift on outcropping coal and a bricked shaft, was done 
by Messrs. E. B. Garvin and M. Batty. A small amount of coal was excavated and, 
the writers understand, boated or punted down the river to a small wharf near the 
mouth, where it was loaded on a seagoing vessel. In a much later report Hector 
states that " coal-seams were known and worked in an imperfect manner at Page's 
[Chasm] Creek within four miles of the mouth of the Mokihinui River as early as 1864 
under the direction of the late Mr. Burnett, M.E."t The cost of land carriage to the 
shipping-point on the Mokihinui River prevented this undertaking from being successful. 
Mining therefore came to a stop, and was not resumed in the district until 1880 or 

Early in 1872 a mine called the Albion was opened near Crane's Cliff at the point 
where Mine Creek joins the Ngakawau River. J The workings were in friable coal 
dipping at a steep angle, and the cost of transport was high, the coal being shipped 
in small vessels which had difficulty in entering and leaving the Ngakawau. The 
Albion Company therefore soon suspended operations, with the intention of resuming 
work when railway connection with Westport was established.§ 

At the Waimangaroa River mining began on faulted much-crushed blocks of coal 
in 1874 or earlier. W. M. Cooper and R. B. Denniston in various reports|| mention 
drifts worked by Rhodes and party, by Sim and Mulholland, and by Roche. Sim's 
drift developed a few years later into the Wellington Mine. 

In the year 1873 W. M. Cooper and R. B. Denniston began the topographical 
and mineral surveys, of wliich some details are given on page 4. These surveys were 
the basis of Sir James Hector's estimate^ that 100,000,000 tons of coal were available 
in the area between Westport and Ngakawau, and of various later estimates (see Chapter VI). 

In 1877 the Wellington Coal Company first placed coal on the market, and in the 
following year had a recorded output of 1,468 tons. The coal was extremely friable, 
and the company therefore erected six coke-ovens, in which a good class of coke is 
said to have been made.** During 1878-79, according to the Warden, a large amount 
of coke was produced, but the tonnage is apparently not officially recorded. 

In 1878 the Westport Colliery Company (later the Westport Coal Company) was 
formed with the object of amalgamating the numerous existing coal leases.ff This the 
promoters were largely successful in doing, and the construction of haulage inclines, 
roads, and other surface works was begun or continued. The first workings of the 
company were situated near Denniston, and were originally known as the Eisher Mine, 
which in 1880 was renamed the Banbury.JJ At the end of 1878 the mine is recorded 

* " Abstract Report on the Progress of the Geological Survey of New Zealand during 1866-67," 1867, 
p. 11. See also Rep. G.S. during 1866-67, No. 4, 1868, p. 24 

fRep. G.S. during 1886-87, No. 18, 1887, p. 156. 

i Rep. G.S. during 1871-72, No. 7, 1872, p. 137. 

§ Report of Westport CoUiery Reserves Commission, A.-3, 1876, p. 117. 

II E.-3, 1875, App. I, p. 93 ; E.-9, 1875, pp. 2, 17 ; A.-3, 1876, p. 117. 

i[ Rep. G.S. during 1874-76, No. 9, 1877, Progress Report, p. xii. 

** S. H. Cox : " Report on the Coal-mines of New Zealand inspected during the Past Year." Rep. 
G.S. during 1877-78, No. 11, 1878, p. 175. 

tt Westport Coal Committee (Report of), I.-6, 1882, p. 17. 

II In Mines Report, C.-3, 1887, p. 4, and in Mines Report (not numbered), 1887, p. 195. (Coal-mines of New 
Zealand), G. J. Binns states that the Banbury Mine was then known as the Coalbrookdale. So far as the 
writers know, however, the name " Coalbrookdale " refers only to the area south of Burnett's Face, and 
was never (except in error) apphed to the Banbury Mine. 


as having a total output of 1,190 tons, whilst in 1879 2,600 tons were mined.* The 
Westport Colliery Company, having met with many financial and other troubles, was 
in September, 1881, reconstructed under the now well-known name of the Westport Coal 
Company.f The new company extended its haulage line towards Coalbrookdale, and at 
the end of 1884 had the creditable total output of 189,412 tons.J 

In 1880 the recently opened Mokihinui Mine sent away 500 tons of coal, but 
found conditions unfavourable, and ceased operations at the end of the year.§ The 
Wellington Coal Company became merged with the Koranui Company, which, having 
acquired a continuous lease on the 1st January, 1879, constructed a long incline 
tramway on the southern slope of Mount Frederick, and in or about 1883 began 
active coal-mining operations. 

In 1885 the Mokihinui Coal Company began work, and at a later date a mile 
and a half of railway was constructed in order to connect the mine near St. Helens 
(as the locality is now called) with a wharf built on the Mokihinui River close to the 
present railway-station of Mokihinui, but for some years the company was occupied 
chiefly in prospecting and in extending its railway towards Coal or Parenga Creek. The 
Koranui Mine was bought by the Union Steamship Company, and in spite of many 
difficulties its output was greatly increased. At the end of 1886, however, the mine 
was sold to the Westport Coal Company, and since then has not been worked. 

The old Albion Mine at Ngakawau was again taken up and worked on a small 
scale in 1888|| and succeeding years by the Westport - Ngakawau (also called the 
Westport- Wallsend) Company, which proposed to build ovens for coking the soft and 
friable coal. In 1891, however, the company abandoned its Mine Creek workings, 
on account of the thinning of the seam to the dip, and the poor quality of the 
coal being won,^ but prospected the higher-level portion of its ground, where some 
good coal-outcrops were found. The ill fortune of the Mokihinui Company was 
persistent, for after developing a 23 ft. coal-seam (with a maximum thickness of 30 ft.) 
in Coal Creek,** their newly acquired transport steamer, the " Lawrence," was in 1891 
wrecked on the Mokihinui River bar, and, in addition, a bad downthrow fault was 
encountered in their dip workings. On the other hand, in 1892 the prospects of 
the mine were improved by the completion of the railway to Westport. 

In 1888 the Waimangaroa Mine, operated by Messrs. Haylock and Young, began 
workff on the south bank of the Waimangaroa River, opposite the old Wellington Mine, 
which was reprospected in 1890, and reworked during 1891. In these mines the coal 
was extremely friable, and the seams steeply tilted. Permanent success could hardly 
be expected, and in 1893 both undertakings were finally abandoned. J J 

On the 28th November, 1891, the first shot in connection with the construction 
of the inclined tramway to the present Millerton - Mine Creek - Mangatini Coal-mine was 
fired at Granity.§§ Five years later this mine began to produce coal, and soon 
became one of the largest producers in the Dominion. 

In 1893 the Westport - Cardiff Coal Company began operations near the present 
township of Seddonville, then known as Bayfeild's Flat, and in 1894 began to produce 

* Mines Report, 1879, H.-16, p. 22 ; and Mines Report, 1880, H.-18, p. 18. 

1 1.-6, 1882, p. 17. 

j Mines Report, 1885, C.^, p. 13. 

§ H.-13, 1882, p. 24, gives the production for 1881 as " nil." 

II Mines Report, C.-2, 1889, p. 162. 

if Mines Report, C.-3b, 1892, p. 6. 

** Mines Report, C.-4, 1891, p. 208. Not improbably 23 ft. is a raispriat for 32 ft. 

tt Mines Report, C.-2, 1889, p. 152. 

it Mines Report, C.-3B, 1894, p. 4. 

§§ Mines Report, C.-3b, 1892, p. 6. 

3— BuUer Mokihinui. 


coal, though on a limited scale. The seam worked was 18 ft. and more in thickness, 
but in places contained so-called " stone-veins."* 

The Mokihinui Coal Company continued operations for some years, but with 
indifferent success. In 1894 the Inspector of Mines (Mr. N. D. Cochrane) reported 
that numerous veins and bands of stone intersected the seam, whilst the coal itself was 
in places, soft and of poor quality.f During this year two fires broke out in the mine 
but were effectually sealed off after some trouble. After being idle for some months, 
the mine was leased by a co-operative party of miners — the Knights of Labour — who 
worked it for some time during 189-5. The Mines Reports do not state how long 
this interesting experiment lasted, but apparently the Mokihinui Company took over the 
colliery at the end of a few months, after the Knights of Labour had given it ",a 
good trial." J Towards the end of 1896 all winning-work ceased, and somewhat later 
the Mokihinui Coal Company was presumably wound up, for the property ultimately 
came into possession of the Crown, as indicated in the next paragraph but one. 

For some years the Westport - Cardiff Coal Company continued to increase its 
output, which in 1898 reached a total of 60,001 tons. During 1899 various difficulties 
were encountered, and in September the mine was temporarily closed down. On the 
28th January, 1900, a fire was discovered in the main section of the mine, which 
was then sealed, and later flooded, or partly flooded, with water in order to extinguish 
the fire. These measures were not successful, and at the present time (1914) the 
coal is still burning. In May, 1900, the Westport - Cardiff lease was resumed by the 
Crown,§ and now forms part of the Seddonville State Coal Reserve. 

In June, 1900, a party of twelve miners, constituting the Westport Co-operative 
Coal Company, took over the Mokihinui Mine from the State, and for a short period 
worked the Big Face section with some success. Owing to crushing of pillars, however, 
the old fire-stoppings gave way, thus allowing the fire to make progress. After 
vainly attempting to seal off the fire, the party turned its attention to the dip 
workings in the Hut section, and later to some ground situated to the westward, in 
Cascade Creek valley, which adjoined the State Coal Reserve. The Hut section was 
found to be limited by faults, whilst the coal in the Cascade Creek section was thin 
and not of good quality. Towards the end of 1904 the co-operative party ceased work. 
It was then reconstructed with six shareholders, and during the first six months of 
1905, 1,146 tons of coal were produced. The coal, however, was friable, and could 
not be sold at a profitable price. The mine was therefore abandoned by the lessees, 
and thus reverted to the Crown. 1 1 

In 1901 the Government set about the development of the ground formerly held 
by the Westport - Cardiff Coal Company as a State enterprise. A new section, the 
" Cave Area," wasjopened up under the name of the Seddonville Colliery. In 1904 
the mine reachedj^a producing-basis, the output in that year being 33,308 tons. 
Though the " Cave Area " and adjoining territory showed many thick outcrops of 
hard coal, yet actual working disclosed extensive patches of soft or friable coal, some of 
which was also dirty. The mine was never really successful, and at the end of 
April, 1914, owing to the almost complete exhaustion of the hard coal in sight and 
the utter impossibility of profitably mining the friable coal, was closed. 

The Westport - StocktonJCoal Company, formed in order to work coal-bearing 
leases some miles south-east of Millerton, began extensive development-works in 

* See Mines Reports, C.-3b, 1894, and following years. 
t C.-3B, 1895, p. 4. 
i C.-3B, 1897, p. 6. 
§ Mines Reports, C.-3a, 1901, p. 2. 

||]For the particulars contained in this paragraph see Mines Reports, C.-3a, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905 
and 1906. 


December, 1905, and formally opened their mine on the 6th October, 1908. For two or 
three years a large output was maintained, but the areas at first worked being small 
and much of the coal friable, the production fell away. Recently a large field of 
coal lying in the eastern part of the company's lease has been tapped, and appears 
likely to yield a considerable output of coal for many years. 

North-east of Kiwi Compressor (Burnett's Face district) is a coal-bearing area of 
approximately 1,200 acres commonly known as Cook's or Westenra's Lease. This 
ground has been held for a number of years by various persons, but very little 
prospecting and development-work has been done thereon. 

So far mention has been made only of mines working the bituminous coal of 
the Denniston-Seddonville district. There are, however, several lignite-mines near 
Charleston, as well as brown-coal mines in the Buller Valley near Inangahua Junction, 
and therefore somewhat outside the area now under description. 

The first record of coal-mining at Charleston found by the writers is the mention 
of the Charleston Coal-mine as being worked opencast in 1880*, but it is certain 
that coal-mining began long before this time. In 18931 the Waitakere and Powell's 
coal-mines are recorded as having been at work for about twenty years. At one time 
and another a number of pits have been worked by open-face methods, and in 1913 
three were in operation. At present coal-mining in the Charleston district is of little 
importance. It is understood, however, that Messrs. Bowater and Bryan, who have 
taken up a large area under lease, intend to extend their tram-line from its present 
terminus south-east of Cape Foulwind to Charleston, in the expectation that the lignite 
may be introduced to a larger market. 

Goal-mining Leases. 

All or practically all the coal-mining in the Westport district is on land leased 
from the Crown as owner ; a nominal rental of 2s. 6d. per acre, merging into a royalty 
of 6d. per ton, is charged. It may be of interest to mention a few details which have 
been collected by the writers. It would be useless, however, to attempt to deal with 
the numerous early leases, all of which, by surrender, forfeiture, or changes in the 
terms, have become obsolete.^ 

MoJcihinui Coal Company. — -On the 1st July, 1885, this company was granted a 
lease of 160 acres for a term of forty-two years, and on the 1st July, 1888, a second 
lease of 640 acres for a term of sixty-three years. In 1892 a new lease of 960 acres 
was applied for. 

Westport - Cardiff Coal Company. — The original lease of 320 acres was acquired in 
1885 by Mr. A. D. Bayfeild, and was for forty-two years from the 1st July of that 
year. No work was done on this lease, which in 1889 was incorporated in a fresh 
lease of 1,800 acres. This the Government took over on the 23rd May, 1900. 

Westport - Ngakawau Coal Company. — This company's lease of 3,118 acres, which 
included the old Albion Mine, was dated from the 1st January, 1889. The Westport- 
Stockton Coal Company now holds a considerable portion of the ground. 

Wellington Coal Company. — This company's lease was for a period of forty-two 
years from the 1st January, 1876. 

Koranui Company. — A lease, dating from the Ist January, 1879, was issued 
to this company in 1880. In 1881 the Wellington lease was acquired, and in 1885 
both leases were transferred to the Union Steamship Company, which had been granted, 

* Mines Report, H.-14, 1881, p. 8. 
t Mines Report, C.-3, App. Ill, 189.3, p. iv. 

J Particulars concorning some of those will bo found in " Leases in Buller Coal Reserve (Return of)," 
I.-6, 1889 ; in " Buller Reserves Coal-mining Leases," C.-8, 1887, &c. 

3*— BuUer-Mokihinui. 

A. E. P. 

. . 

1,999 3 20 

A. E. P. 

2,951 2 7 


on the 27th March, 1885, a lease of an adjoining block for thirty-seven years from 
the 1st January, 1884. The leases were acquired by the Westport Coal Company 
in 1886, but were soon after abandoned.* 

Westport Coal Company. — The leases originally held by this company had been 
acquired at various times, and must have been of a varied nature as regards their 
dates and the periods for which they were held. The company, however, applied for 
and in 1888 was granted new leases of its Denniston properties. At the end of that 
year the leases held by the Westport Coal Company were for 2,479 acres in Kawatiri 
Survey District for a term of ninety-nine years, dating from the 1st January, 1888, 
and for 2,951 acres in the Ngakawau Survey District, also for a term of ninety-nine 
years, but dating from the 1st January, 1882. 

At the present time (1914) the principal leases are as follows : — 

Westport-Stockton Coal Company (about) 
Westport Coal Company : — 
(a.) Millerton . . 
(&.) Bast of Denniston (Burnett's 

Face, Kiwi Compressor, &c.) 1,563 3 36 
(c.) South-east of Denniston (Coal- 

brookdale. Cascade Creek, &c.) 915 2 2 
(d.) New extension (east of Den- 
niston leases) . . . . 751 3 7 

Cook's or Westenra's lease . . 

With these may be included — 

Seddonville State Coal Reserve 

Total .. 

Buller Coalfield Reserve. 

In 1863 the Nelson Provincial Council passed an Act known as the Buller Reserves 
Administration Act, which probably, as the writers assume, reserved land for coal- 
mining purposes in the Westport district.f This and amending Acts were repealed by 
the Westland and Nelson Coalfields Administration Act, 1877, which declared that an 
area of approximately 114,000 acres, known as " The Buller Coalfield Reserve," and an 
area of 73 acres in the town of Westport known as " The Colliery Reserve," were 
Crown lands, and provided that all revenue derived from these areas should be expended 
on the Westport-Ngakawau railway. At the present time these reserves, by virtue 
of the Westport Harbour Board Act, 1884, form endowments to the Westport Harbour 
Board. The boundaries of the Buller Coalfield Reserve, as described by the Third 
Schedule of the 1877 Act, are approximately shown by the maps accompanying this 

Mining Methods. 

The coal-mining methods of the Westport field are similar to those of the Grey- 
mouth district, of which an account is given on pages 23-26 of Bulletin No. 13, and there- 
fore need not here be described at great length. Owing to the coal-seams being more 

* This is an inference made by the writers from the fact that these leases were not included in the new 
leases granted to the Westport Coal Company in 1888. 

t See Nelson Gazette, vol. xi, No. 9, 21st April, 1863, p. 32. 






.. 6, 






3 39 


or less variable in dip, strike, thickness, and quality, subject to " rolls," intersected 
by numerous faults and stream-valleys, &c., the workings are in many places necessarily 
somewhat irregular. 

The coal is won in the first place from bords, 16 ft. to 18 ft. in maximum width, 
driven on the average 1 chain apart. They are sometimes broken away with a width 
of 12 ft., but in many cases are begun with the full width of 18 ft. The bords are 
connected at intervals of 1 chain by cut-throughs, ends, or stentons, which are usually 
of the same widths as the bords. Thus the pillars are normally 48 ft. square, but in 
practice there is considerable variation. Where the seam is thick head coal is dropped, 
usually simultaneously with the working of the pillars, which are removed in " lifts," 
or slices. In the Mangatini section of the Millerton Mine, where the coal reaches 50 ft. 
and more in thickness, the pillars are first split, then a small slice or lift is taken off 
each end. The top or head coal is then shot down (blasting-powder being the ex- 
plosive), and after the broken coal has been filled, another lift is removed in the same 
way as before. Great falls of coal often take place, and a pair of miners have been 
known to fill coal for several weeks from one place without ever having to break coal 
from the face. This process of working the pillars is continued until it is deemed 
unsafe to proceed any further. In very thick seams there may be two or even three 
drifts one above the other, but there cannot well be more than one set of bords and 
of pillar workings. Necessarily a large percentage of the coal cannot be recovered 
from those portions of the seams with thickness exceeding, say, 16 ft. or 18 ft. Only 
by a filling-in method could all the coal be removed without frequent loss of life, but 
the cost of such a system renders it impracticable for the Westport district or 
any other locality in New Zealand until the selling-price of coal increases very 

The necessary cutting and holing at the coal-faces is usually done by manual 
labour alone, and the coal is then broken down by mean of blasting-powder. As far 
back as 1897 the Westport Coal Company introduced electrically driven pick holing- 
machines into the Ironbridge Mine (Bm'nett's Face), and compressed-air machines into 
the Millerton Mine. In 1899 pick machines driven by air were used throughout the 
Coalbrookdale Mine, and were supplementing and displacing the electrical machines in 
the Ironbridge Mine. For some years the bulk of the coal was mined with the aid of 
pick machines actuated by compressed air, but these apparently gradually fell into 
disuse, and were not replaced by new and more efficient types.* 

In the Westport-Stockton Mine electrically driven Sullivan holing-machines were 
employed for several years, but have not been in use for some time, and the coal is 
now being mined in the old-fashioned way.f 

The coal broken at the faces is filled into trucks or " tubs " with iron or steel 
bodies holding fi'om 15 cwt. to 30 cwt. (Westport - Stockton Mine). From the faces 
the coal is conveyed to the main haulage-roads by manual labour, by jigs, and by 
horses. The unweildy trucks employed in the Westport-Stockton Mine are quite un- 
suitable for hand-trucking, and on this account the haulage from the winning-faces to 
the level roads is accomplished almost entirely by means of flexible steel ropes, actuated 
by small electrically-driven winches. In the same mine small electric locomotives weigh- 
ing 13,000 lb., with a drawbar pull of 2,500 lb., are employed for haulage on some of 
the subsidiary roads.J 

♦For references to coal-cutting machines, see Mines Reports, C.-3a, 1898, 18!)!); C.-;j, 1899, p. ]7(); 
and C.-3a of succeeding years. 

t Letter from Mr. James Newton, Inspector of Mines, dated 27th May, 1914. 
X Mines Report, C.-3a, 1910, p. 9. 


Transport on Main Roads. 

The transport arrangements of the various bituminous coal-mines are on so large 
a scale and present so many interesting, though perhaps not novel, features that some 
description of them may well be given here. 

Westport Coal Company's Denniston Collieries. — The numerous sections of the 
Denniston mines, worked more or less independently of one another — for example, the 
Coalbrookdale Mine, with its subsections Cascade and Whareatea, Ironbridge Colliery, 
Kruger's section, Deep Creek section, &c. — deliver their coal by means of a branching 
system of endless ropes to a point near the " Wooden Bridge," at Burnett's Face. 
Hence a single endless rope with a capacity of 1,500 tons per shift of eight hours takes 
all the coal through a tunnel, and thence on the surface to the tippling-plant at 
Denniston. Since on the whole the grade is against the coal from the various mines 
to Denniston, engine-power is necessary at a number of points to actuate the endless 
ropes. In 1913 there was in all seventeen miles of endless rope in operation. 

After being weighed, tipped, and if necessary screened, the coal passes into large 
bins, which deliver it through doors operated by hydraulic machinery into railway- 
trucks holding eight tons of coal each. These are lowered by wire rope down a wonder- 
ful self-acting incline to the locomotive railway-line at Conn's Creek. This incline is in 
two sections, the upper of which, according to»Mr. H. A. Gordon, is 34 chains in length, 
with a fall of 801 ft., and a maximum grade of 1 in 1-34. The lower incline is 49 
chains in length, with a fall of 870 ft., and a maximum grade of 1 in 2-02. Powerful 
hydraulic brakes are employed in order to control the speed of the descending truck, 
which is naturally only partly counterbalanced by the ascending truck. The capacity 
of the incline is at least 1,000 tons per shift of eight hours.* 

West-port Coal Company's Millerton Colliery. — The Millerton Mine has three main 
sections — namely, Millerton to Mine Creek, Mine Creek to Mangatini, and Mangatini. 
These sections being situated one beyond the other, the haulage system is not so 
complex as that of the Denniston mines, and consists merely of a series of self-acting 
endless ropes, controlled by powerful hydraulic brakes, the grade being everywhere in 
favour of the load except for a short distance in the Mine Creek - Mangatini section, 
where there is a basin or " swallow " in the coal-measures. From Mine Creek to near 
the Millerton station the haulage-road is driven on a uniform grade in granite under- 
lying the coal-measures, and therefore possesses an admirable degree of permanency and 
freedom from danger. From the Millerton station the coal is lowered down a steep 
incline with two tunnels, one in coal-measures and the other in granite, to the tippling, 
screening, and bin plant at Granity, where it is loaded into railway-trucks. The 
distance from the Mangatini section to Granity is approximately four miles, and the 
fall considerably over 2,000 ft. 

Westport-Stockton Coal Company's Mine. — The Westport-Stockton Coal-mine has a 
most interesting transport system, which is in large measure operated electrically. 
From the D and C tunnel sections, and the upper part of B tunnel section, the coal 
trucks or tubs are lowered by self-acting endless-rope inclines to a station in B tunnel. 
The lower of these endless ropes is controlled by an electrically operated brake, the 
upper by a powerful hand-brake. From the station in B tunnel electric locomotives 
weighing 40,000 lb., with a drawbar pull of 7,500 lb., transport the coal-trucks to 

* References : Mines Reports, C.-3, 1896, p. 168 ; C.-3, 1899, p. 175 ; Mines Record, vol. iv, 1900-1, 
p. 144. 

Plate V. 

(Jpi'EK I'Airr OF Westpout Coal Company's Incline, Ghanity to Milf.kuton. 
(ic.ol. null. No. 7r.] I'l'o luce page SS 


Swampy Flat, a distance of approximately two and a quarter miles. The average 
grade in favour of the load being 1 in 214, a brake car is necessary to supplement 
the locomotive brakes. From Swampy Flat or " Top Brake " station, which is approxi- 
mately 1,050 ft. above sea-level (barometric observation), the coal-tubs are lowered with 
the assistance of an hydraulic brake down a 40-chain endless-rope incline with an 
average grade of 1 in 6-7, and a maximum grade of 1 in 5 to the " Middle Brake." 
Here is another endless-rope incline, a few chains shorter in length, with an average 
grade of about 1 in 4, and a maximum grade of 1 in 3. At the foot of this incline 
is a sub-station, whence the tubs are drawn in rakes by a main and tail rope system 
operated by an electrical winch through a 28-chain tunnel to the tippling-plant and 
bins at Ngakawau.* 

The new workings in the east section of the Westport-Stockton lease are connected 
with the main haulage-station in B tunnel by an electric-locomotive line, which alter 
crossing the Mangatini Creek enters a tunnel driven thence to the station. 

Seddonville State Coal-mine. — During the time the Seddonville Colliery was in 
operation the coal was drawn from the mine to the bins by means of an endless rope 
which was almost, but not quite, self-acting. This at one time extended across Chasm 
Creek into the Bridge section, but during 1911 and 1912 the terminal was in the tunnel 
on the north side of Chasm Creek. From this point the grade was slightly against the 
load for some distance. The haulage- tunnel then entered granite, with a grade in 
favour of the load. From the northern mouth of the tunnel there was a steep down- 
hill grade for some distance, and the road then became nearly fiat, except for a few 
chains near the bins, where the grade was again in favour of the load. 


The various mines are all " level-free " — that is, they may be drained by adits, 
but owing to the varying dip of the coal strata some difficulties in the way of drainage 
arise. Several special drainage adits have been driven in connection with the Westport 
Coal Company's mines at Coalbrookdale, Kiwi Compressor, and Mine Creek. These 
discharge a large quantity of water, especially in wet weather, when much of the 
rainfall enters the mine-workings through cracks caused by the subsidence of the strata 
overlying worked areas. In small blocks, where either coal is being worked to the dip, 
or which are basins (" swallows ") not worth the expense of draining by a special adit, 
pumps driven by steam, compressed air, or electricity are installed. 

Output of Goal. 

The yearly and total output of the various bituminous coal-mines in the Buller- 
Mokihinui Subdivision is shown by the table on the next page. Some of the data 
relating to the smaller mines in their earlier years are evidently approximate only, 
whilst it has not been found possible to ascertain the output of the various mines 
worked on a small scale prior to 1877, and statistics for the Charleston district, where 
lignite has been mined for many years, are almost wanting. These omissions, however, 
do not seriously affect the totals. The compilation of the table was rendered possible 
only by the statistics of production which have been carefully collected by tlie 
Mines Department during the past thirty-five years. 

' Most of these particulars are from Mines Reports, C.-3a, 1907, 1908, 1909, and 1910. 


o b S 

a S O 


.2 - 

»00 rH 

I 00 CO 

■gCD o 

-'(M rt O CO 

s « 

S go 00 

o o 

CO o> 
00 (M 

oO O (N 

OO o o 
K^io o r- 

J.O O (N 

~o O O 

CO (M "* —I 
rH tX lO ^ 

00 (M tM t- 

t> CO 05 (N 

i-H ^ (N 

rH O rH l:~ 

CO 00 O iM 

^ (M nH 05 

lO o 

■* CO 

02 o 

00 lO 
O 00 
00 o 

t~ IM CO 05 O lO 
;CO M< C3 <M CD t~ 

;(N 05 00 .-^ rt ■* 

aco (N ^ <N t~ o 

■■ 05 -* CO lO lO 

e (M CO ■* >o 

■i t— in fH «0 r-( lO 

& CO ir~ u5 CO CO i-H 
§^(N CD C5 (M O CO 


l^r-(T}HC0Oi— It-tO 





el « 

o rf S 
3. a; 9 


j(N tH t- O <N CD 

O O 

S >0 O O CD O CD 

gt^ in O r-H lO O 

■g(M 1-1 CO CO (M <N 


^ in 
>o O 



rt CO 


t> CO 
(M CO 

l> ■* (M 

O t~ CO 


o >o 

^^Ttl-^CDCOOO iSt~f^ 
t>t>t^t-CD!N— Ir-I ^CO-H 
OOOOi-fTitt^t- SI— ICO 

ffq t~ t- o ^t- CD 

03 lO 00 O ■£ lO -* 
• O (M <M O 2-r)H rt 


2 rf d 



CD lO 
00 o 



~' ■ O 03 t- <N O t- ^ 00 


§•; rt(NT(<CD03<N 

CO (M 
CO l> 



r-H i-H (M e<I M (N CO CO 00 Ttl 



lO O 

t- r-H 




i-H .-H (N <N CO 

>0 05 
00 CO 
<M (M 




a d 
o S S 

i^ S a 
-I " o 



O O <N O 00 lO (M (M rt 
05050000 (M<Mrt00a3 

.-lt>cDOO (MC<lTfOOT}l 

CO o 

Tj( CO 

00 00 -* o 

rf lO CD CO 

CO 00 T)< o 

I— I rM CD 

CO O '^ 
CD ■<* rt 

^i>oocq05<Moo>o ooo 

(MOiTjiCD-HrtTtllO ooo 
r-i-*COOOM-*l>CO rt<M 


lOCOt-1— iCOOSCOr— < 


» 1— lCOI>^ 01003CO<N 
H CO 00 rt 00 CO — H 

„ rt ,-1 (M CO 

00 00 

rt .-I tH (N 
<M 00 1> t^ 
t> 00 O (N 

t-i— i-*CDO0-*tr-O3 00O3 
OOt-COCOt>0-*05 ■*© 

0(M-*CDOOr-HCO>0 ODi— I 







O O CM 00 

03 O 03 O 

nH CO OO r-l 

00 lr~ t- O 05 

■* G3 00 t~ O 

CO 03 r-H t)< CD 

lO o CO CO 
— 1 Ttl O CD 
O <M CD Tt< 

r-l O lO 

O t~ T)< 
1> C- I> 

>OcOr-i-t(t:~ffOCOt~ CO(M 

l--r-10r-Hl005COO COr-H 

O3C0001OCOr-<C0CO OOO 

lo i-o r~ lo 03 00 CO >o 


r-< (N CO tH 

O'^'C^fN^CDCO^ OOrH 

rtr-H-H(N<M<N(N<M (M<M 




1 CO CO 
' <M O 
I lO ^ 

CD CD lO ■* -* 
03 O 00 (M 03 
.rt Ti( Ttl O -H 

I O O 
1 CD 00 
I <M 00 

ScD O 05 05 O 
005 O 00 CO C~ 
l«j r— I CO 03 >0 r-4 

in 05 

CO 03 
O i?<l 

S !- lO ^ 

-g— CO CO 

C0050r-< (NOOT^mcD 
t>t~O000 0000000000 
00000000 0000000000 

t~ 00 

00 00 

00 00 

C5 O ^ (M 

00 05 05 05 

00 00 00 00 

CO ^ »o 

05 05 05 
00 00 00 


'ii iC 

o o 

05 05 

OOOO^r-l— (^ 


The following table shows the total output for the district, year by year, since 1877, 
the few returns available from the Charleston lignite-pits being omitted, so that the 
table shows output of bituminous coal only : — 


Output for 

Total Output 

„ Output for 

Total Output 


to Date. 

^®'''- Year. 

to Date. 





1877 . 







1878 . 






1879 . 






1880 . 






1881 . 






1882 . 



1901 . . 



1883 . 






1884 . 






1885 . 






1886 . 






1887 . 






1888 . 



1907 . . 



1889 . 






1890 . 






1891 . 






1892 . 






1893 . 






1894 . 






1895 . 



The production of individual mines, so far as ascertainable, is shown by the 
following table : — 


Prior to 1913. 

In 1913. 

Grand Total. 




Wellington Mine (1877-80) 



Wellington Mine (1891-92), (reopened) 


. . 


Koranui Mine (1882-86) . . 


, . 


Waimangaroa Mine (Haylock and Young's), (1889-92) 



Westport Coal Company's mines near Denniston (1878) 




Westport Coal Company's Millerton Mine (1896) 




Mokihinui No. 1 Mine (St. Helens), (1880) . . 



Mokihinui No. 2 Mine (Lower and Upper Mokihinui), 




Mokihinui No. 2 Mine (Upper Mokihinui), (1900-5) . . 



Westport-Cardifi Mine (1893-99) . . 


. . 


Seddonville State Mine (1902) 




Westport-Stockton Mine (1908) . . 




Westport-Ngakawau (1889-90) .. 






* Docs not incliido Wellington Mine (4,403 tons). There is a discrepancy of 3 tons in the official figures, 
t 1,041 tons produced in the years 1885 to 1888 may have been from neighbourhood of Seddonville 
or St. Helens ; the rest of this production was probably all from Coal Creek (Upper Mokihinui). 
J Production all from Coal Creek mines (Upper Mokihinui). 


The production of various small mines worked at Mokihinui prior to 1880 and that 
of the Albion Mine at Ngakawau are unknown. The lignite-production of the sub- 
division is not fully recorded in any official publication. The only figures available 
show that the Waitakere Mine at Charleston from 1893 to 1899 had an output of 
868 tons. 

The individual outputs of bituminous coal from the various mines during the three 
years 1911, 1912, and 1913 are as follow : — 























Seddonville State 






























Denniston (Ironbridge, 


82,5361 323,368 







Coalbrookdale, &c.) 


It is evident that the correct proportion of slack to round coal, nuts, &c., is not 
given by the above table. The discrepancies are presumably due to the exigencies of 
trade affecting the quantity of fuel subjected to screening. 

The Mines Report for 1913 gives the total production of the Buller coalfield as 
12,157,911 tons, or 19,038 tons more than that given in the tables. This difference 
is due to the Mines Report figures including 868 ton's from Charleston (as above), 
8,153 tons from the Buller Gorge mines (Whitecliffs and Rocklands), 4,437 tons from 
Three-channel Flat mines, 1,712 tons from Longford mines,* and 4,263 tons from 
mines at Boatman's (Capleston). On the other hand, the 500 tons produced by the 
Mokihinui No. 1 Mine in 1880 does not appear to be included in the total. Clerical errors 
or misprints in the records account for the remaining discrepancy of 103 tons. 

Future Prospects of Coal-mining. 

In Chapter VI it is shown that the known blocks carrying workable seams of 
bituminous coal do not together constitute a large area. Of these blocks those that 
are readily accessible and contain the best coal have already been developed and 
worked to a considerable extent. For future development there relnain outside existing 
leases now being actively worked only Cook's lease, the somewhat problematical Black- 
burn field, the summits of Mounts Frederick and William, Charming Creek, and a few 
other small areas. In addition there is the possibility of the low country near Westport 
containing a large amount of workable bituminous coal, together with overlying lignite. 
Until, however, extensive boring has been done no great weight can be given to the 
potentialities of the "Westport flats. 

After a careful consideration of all the circumstances, the writers are forced to 
conclude that the bituminous coal-production of the Westport district will but slowly 
increase during the next ten or fifteen years. An increase in selling-price will stimulate 
production, but competition with Australian coal will prevent prices being raised to such 
a point as greatly to increase the rate of production. If, then, the Westport flats are 
found to contain workable coal they will be developed, but by that time the production 
of coal on the high levels will have reached its maximum, and, as indicated by the 
estimates in Chapter VI, the life of the known bituminous coalfield is not likely greatly 
to exceed fifty years, even when decidedly optimistic assumptions are made. 

As years go by, the brown coal and lignite of the subdivision will be mined on a 
considerably larger scale than at present. The deposits of these classes of coal within 

* Near Murchison. 

Plate VI. 

Lower Endless-hope Incline, Westport-Stockton Coal Company. 


TO Top oe iNci.iNKt^. 
Geol. Bull. No. 1?.] ITu /avc page ii. 


the subdivision are somewhat limited, but immediately adjoining its eastern boundary 
is the Inangahua coalfield which probably contains extensive seams of brown coal. The 
natural outlet for the bulk of this coal is Westport, and therefore much of it may be 
considered as within the Westport district, though not included in the area now being 

Conservation of Coal Resowces. 

The proper utilization or conservation of the Dominion's coal resources is an 
important matter to which attention has repeatedly been called during the past few years. 
It is now well known to those who have seriously considered the question that in New 
Zealand the proved supplies of coal, more especially of bituminous coal, are decidedly 
limited, and will approach exhaustion within one hundred years, or at most one hundred 
and fifty years, from the present time. There is, however, a reasonable prospect that 
important discoveries of brown coal and lignite will be made in the future, and the life 
of New Zealand coalfields thus prolonged. As regards bituminous coal the outlook is 
unfortunately less hopeful. It is therefore obvious that every means for the conserva- 
tion of this class of fuel, which is almost indispensable to the mercantile marine and the 
navy, ought to be employed. 

The reader may here be reminded that the known bituminous coal of New Zealand 
is almost wholly in the Greymouth and Westport districts, though there is a small 
proved field in the Collingwood district, and unknown but not large areas in central 
Nelson.* Elsewhere one of the writers has estimated that the proved and the probable 
bituminous coal of New Zealand amount to 374,000,000 tons, and 477,000,000 tons 
respectively. In the light of later knowledge it appears that these quantities rest to 
some extent on over-optimistic assumptions, and ought to be reduced rather than 
increased, especially in view of the fact that much of the coal is unmineable. 

In Chapter VI the writers estimate that the Westport district contains approxi- 
mately 110,000,000 tons of proved bituminous coal, not including the 13,000,000 tons 
already mined, but including coal which, though still in the ground, is for practical 
purposes irrecoverable. In addition, there is a moderate amount of probable coal, but 
it is hardly feasible to make even a rough estimate of the tonnage. Not even the 
roughest guess of the possible bituminous coal in the Westport flats and elsewhere can 
be made. It is not likely, however, that the unknown coal equals the proved coal in 
quantity, much less exceeds the latter, and unfortunately it is probably much less. 
Over small areas, where the conditions are favourable, two-thirds or even three-fourths 
of the coal can be and has been extracted. But if the leases are taken as a whole, 
then, unless present conditions alter very greatly, not more than one-half, or possibly 
little more than one-third, of the coal in the mining leases will be extracted before 
the mines reach the stage of commercial exhaustion. An immense amount of coal will 
then be irrecoverably locked up in the forms of roof and floor coal not mined from 
thick portions of the seams, of pillar stumps, of friable coal not mined because there 
would be a loss in so doing, of small isolated blocks which could not be economically 
reached by the transport roads, of thin portions of the seams (which would, however, 
be considered as of workable thickness in Europe and in most parts of the United 
States), of somewhat dirty coal (which in various parts of the world would be gladly 
accepted as fuel,) &c In addition a considerable amount of coal will have been 
consumed or ruined by underground fires. 

It need not be suppofsod that this great loss Of coal is the fault of the mining 
companies or of the officials responsible for the management. The blame, if any, 

* Bituminous coal in thin seams occurs in the Paringa district (South Westland) and in a few other 


must justly fall on tlie body politic, which in all countries is as a whole apparently 
indifferent to the approaching exhaustion of natural resources, until, too late, an hour 
of awakening comes. The mining companies must, if possible, make a profit, or, at the 
least, working-expenses must be paid, otherwise capital will become exhausted and 
mining will perforce cease. As for the mining operations, these are conducted with 
skill and with due regard to the safety of the workmen, and little fault is to be 
found with the technical management in other respects. 

Under present conditions, therefore, the loss of coal, however regrettable, is in 
the main unavoidable. Only by appreciably reducing the cost of placing the coal 
on the market, or by materially increasing the selling-price, will it become economically 
possible to mine a much larger proportion of the coal. In the future, necessity will 
undoubtedly compel the mining of much friable coal that to-day, or at least a few 
years ago, isvould be left, and for such coal the consumer will have to give a higher price 
than that which he is now willing to pay. In order to mine, say, 80 per cent, of the 
coal a filling-in system will be necessary where the thickness of the coal-seam exceeds 
15 ft. or 16 ft. Such a method is apparently commercially impracticable, for filling- 
material is not easy to obtain over the greater part of the coalfield, and the additional 
cost would not be less than 5s. per ton of coal at the mine-mouth. Although filling-in 
would not be necessary over considerable areas, yet with an increased percentage of 
extraction there would be increased mining costs, and the small consumer, at any rate, 
would not escape without paying on the average 7s. or 8s. more per ton for his fuel. 

From what has already been said it may be inferred that reductions in the cost 
of marketing the coal probably would not and should not be applied to reducing the 
cost of the coal to the consumer, but would, or, at any rate, should, be used to meet 
the increased cost of extracting coal that is now unprofitable to mine. Marketing- 
costs can to some extent be relatively lessened by the following methods : — 

(1.) Combination amongst the producers, so that the trade in coal may be 
more uniformly divided, and other conditions tending to economy 
rendered possible. It is possible, however, that the elimination of 
competition may be prejudicial in the long-run to the best interests of 
the country. 
(2.) Increasing the efficiency of the labour employed. There is only a 

moderate scope for improvement in this direction. 
(3.) Some improvements in mine transport, machinery, methods of develop- 
ment, &c., are possible. 
(4.1 Railway and steamer freights may be lessened. Undoubtedly the profit in 
transporting coal is greater than the mining profit, and therefore there 
is some reason why transport charges should be reduced. 
Though some reduction in working-costs may be effected by the methods suggested 
and by other means, yet, so far as the writers can see, the only way by which the 
loss of two-thirds of the coal now in the ground can be prevented is through a 
substantial rise of the selling-price, which will render profitable the extraction of all the 
coal where the 'seams are thick, enable thin coal to be worked, and make it worth 
while to construct haulage-roads into isolated blocks. With increased selling-value 
of the better coal the complete extraction of friable coal will also become economicaUj^ 
possible. Apparently the only practicable method of increasing the selling-price of the 
coal is through a protective tariff, which wiU exclude foreign coal from the New 
Zealand market. Doubtless legislation will also be necessary in order to compel the 
lessees of coal-bearing areas to work coal which they may deem unprofitable, but 
which ought to be worked in the interest of the owners — that is, the general public. 


Whether it is better to allow much coal to go to waste or, as an alternative, increase 
the price to the consumer, and thus both increase the cost of living and perhaps 
cripple various industries, is a question in political economy which the writers, 
fortunately for their peace of mind, are not called upon to solve ; but it does seem 
necessary to state that such a dilemma awaits those who may endeavour to prevent 
the regrettable apparent waste of natural resources that is going on at the present 
time in New Zealand and in many other countries, to the great probable detriment 
of future generations. 

To some extent the consumer can meet the probable future increase in the cost 
of his coal by making better use of it. There are possibilities in connection with 
using the coal for mechanical stokers, dust-firing, for suction-gas plants, &c. The 
friable coal may be coked, and the gases given off utilized in various ways. The 
briquetting of slack, though not successful with the Seddonville coal, has possibilities 
before it. Something in the way of improvement may also be accomplished by mixing 
the bituminous coal with other classes of coal, especially as a preliminary to briquetting. 
The greatest hope for the future, however, seems to lie in the establishment of power 
plants on the coalfields, whence energy may be electrically distributed. 

As regards conservation in its narrow sense — that is, preservation of the coal for 
a future generation — little can be said beyond making the obvious suggestion that 
economy should be practised by the consumer, a matter of which he seldom requires 
to be reminded, though sometimes he errs from lack of knowledge. There is little 
need, however, for bituminous coal to be employed for household use away from the 
neighbourhood of the fields themselves. New Zealand has a relatively abundant 
supply of pitch and brown coals, which, if procurable at a reasonable price, are more 
suitable for household requirements than most bituminous coals. The use of the latter 
in New Zealand should be restricted as far as possible to purposes for which it is 

Utilization of Friable Coal and Slack. 

One of the greatest difficulties in the working of the Westport coalfield is connected 
with the profitable disposal of the friable coal and slack. It is said that the district 
contains 5,000 acres of unmined friable coal in seams of from 5 ft. to 20 ft. in thick- 
ness. In addition, over 25 per cent, of the coal mined in the district is slack.* Some 
of the slack is used for bunkering purposes, but the market is limited. Some possible 
methods of using slack and friable coal have been mentioned above. A brief account 
of two other ways in which slack and friable coal have actually been utilized in 
the district — namely, by coking and by briquetting — may here be given. 

Coking. — In a previous section the construction of coke-ovens by the Westport- 
Ngakawau and Wellington companies was mentioned, but of these no traces remain 
to-day. Recently the Westport Company has built six modern ovens with hydraulic 
discharger at Granity, and these have been in operation since August, 1911. The 
coke, however, has hitherto not been in great demand, though it is hard, of good 
appearance, and of the quality indicated by the analyses given in Chapter VI. 

Briquetting. — Much consideration has been given to the briquetting of New 
Zealand coals, but nothing was done prior to 1907, when briquetting-works were 
established at Westport in order to deal with the slack coal from the Seddonville 
Colliery. The report of the Eoyal Commission of Mines, published in 1912, states that 
the cost of manufacture of briquettes was nearly 16s. 6|d. per ton, of which 7s. 8d. 
was for pitch alone. Freight and other expenses amounted to lis. 3|d., making a 

* Royal Commission of Mines (Report of, &o.), C.-4, 1912, pp. 32, 33. There may be some exaggeration 
as regards the area of friable coal. 


total cost of £1 7s. 9d. {sic)* per ton, as against an average selling-price of £1 Is. 9d. 
or thereabouts. Obvioxisly the works could not be continued on this basis, and were 
therefore closed during 1912. Fuller information concerning briquetting may be obtained 
from the report mentioned above.f All that need here be said is that experimental 
work in the briquetting of New Zealand coal appears desirable, more especially in the 
matter of finding a substitute for the too expensive pitch employed in the Westport 
briquette- works. 


The Westport Harbour Board at the time of its inception, about 1884, was faced 
with the difficulty of obtaining material suitable for the construction of retaining-walls 
and moles in connection with harbour-works. Some years before the Harbour Board 
had been formed it was proposed to utilize for harbour purposes the sandstone and 
grit blocks that plentifully strew the lower slopes of Mount Rochfort, and a branch 
railway was constructed from Fairdown to the foot of the mountain. Fortunately 
the project was soon abandoned, but whether any rock was actually transported the 
writers have not been able to ascertain.J 

It was also proposed to use the granite from the Buller Gorge for harbour 
purposes, but ultimately quarrying operations were begun on the Cape Foulwind 
limestone and granite. In 1886 three quarries were at work, and a railway-line had 
been made by the Harbour Board from Cape Foulwind to the western bank of the 
Buller River. At this time something like 500 tons of rock was being daily broken 
and transported to the western mole. Shortly after the river was bridged, and in 
1888 the construction of the eastern mole was begun. A few years later the quarrying 
of limestone was discontinued, and attention confined to the granite. At the present time 
there are several faces, all of which, except one, front the shore-line south of Cape 
Foulwind. The rock being quarried is a coarse porphyritic granite, more or less 
gneissic, which in places is somewhat decomposed, and yields a large percentage of 
rubble. Elsewhere, however, the rock is moderately fresh, and blocks of large size 
may be obtained without difficulty. 

Now that the State railway is open to the mouth of the Buller Gorge, recon- 
sideration of the old project of quarrying the rock in that locality for harbour 
purposes may be suggested. The gneissic granite of the Buller Gorge is more 
uniformly hard than the similar rock at Cape Foulwind ; but, on the other hand, it 
is doubtfuJ whether it can be quarried as cheaply. 

* There is an error of Id. in one of the items as printed. 
t Royal Commission of Mines (Report of, &c.), C.-4, 1912, pp. 32-35, 152-60. 

j A sketch by W. M. Cooper made in 1875, and pubHshed in " Westport CoUiery Commission (Report 
of, &c.)," A.-3, 1876, shows a locomotive with train of empty trucks attached, on the line. 






Physiography . . . . . . 47 

Introduction . . . . . . 47 

Maia Surface Features . . . . 47 

Highlands . . . . . . 47 

Former Peneplanation . . . . 49 

Coastal Region . . . . . . 49 

Recent Coastal Plain . . . . 50 

Older Terraces bordering the Recent 

Coastal Plaia . . . . . . 51 

Hilly Areas of Coastal Region west 

of Lower BuUer Fault . . . . 52 

Inangahua Oriiben . . . . 52 

River-flats and Inland Terraces . . 53 

Rivers . . . . . . . . 53 


Physiography — continued. 
Rivers — continued. 

Drainage-areas . . . . . . 56 

WaterfaUs .. .. ..56 

Springs and Underground Watercourses 57 

Lakes and Ponds . . . . . . 57 

Lagoons . . . . . . . . 57 

Shore-line . . . . . . . . 57 

Outline of Geology . . . . . . 58 

Introductory . . . . . . 58 

Sequence and General Structure of the 

Several Formations . . . . 58 

Table of Geological Formations [Facing 59 

Geological History . . . . 59 


Central and western Nelson, together with a portion of North Westland, form a 
physiographic unit in which the major land-forms, though much modified by erosive 
agencies, are essentially conditioned by differential movements of the land, accompanied 
by extensive faulting. The unity of this area and its geographical isolation are recog- 
nized throughout New Zealand, and are embodied in the popular name of the " West 
Coast." The West Coast region is one in which block mountains with a meridional 
trend, and, to a less extent, grdben or rift-valleys, are conspicuous features.* Its 
complete physiographic investigation is a matter of the greatest interest, but, since the 
Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision covers only a small part of western Nelson, full treatment 
of the subject cannot here be attempted. 

Main Surface Features. 

Of the mountain-ranges that meridionally traverse the subdivision the chief are the 
Paparoa Range, with its extension north of the Buller known as the Papahauaf Moun- 
tains, and the Glasgow Range, continued north of the Mokihinui River by Mount Kil- 
marnock. Seaward of the mountains is a belt of lowland country, consisting partly of 
hilly ground and partly of a terraced coastal plain. In places bold precipices front 
the sea, whilst elsewhere low sandhills as a rule fringe the foreshore. Two notable 
rivers, the Buller (Kawatiri) and the Mokihinui, break through the mountain-chains 
in wildly picturesque gorges. 


North of the Mokihinui River the most conspicuous elevation is the bush-covered 
Mount Kilmarnock (3,308 ft.), formed mainly of liornfels and granite. This mountain 
is really the northern part of an uplifted faulted area (" the Glasgow Block ") which 
pitches so strongly to the north that just outside the north-east corner of the sub- 
division it merges into comparatively low hilly country covered by Miocene strata.^ 

* See N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. II, 1910, pp. 10-11 ; and J. Henderson, " On the Genesis of the Surface Forms 
and Present Drainage-systems of West Nelson," Trans., vol. x\h\, 1911, pp. 306-315. N.Z.G.S. bulletins 
Nos. 3, 6, 12, and 13 may also bo consulted. 

I Also spolt " Papahua." The .spelling adopted in tlio text is von Haast's. 

{See N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 11, 1910, pp. 2-10,- 16-22, &o. 


Structurally continuous with Mount Kilmarnock, but separated from it by the 
deep gorge of the Mokihinui River, is the Glasgow Range, prominent points of which 
are Mount Glasgow (4,600 ft.), and Mount Vaughan (3,857 ft.). Several unnamed 
peaks reach elevations of from 4,400 to 4,700 ft. The Glasgow Range is an uplifted 
block of granite, hornfels, and other rocks, which is bounded on its western side by 
a great dislocation — the Glasgow fault Of the maps. The structure on the eastern 
margin, which is everywhere outside the subdivision, is not known. South of Lyell, 
where it is joined by the nearly parallel Lyell Range, the Glasgow Range is obliquely 
intersected by the Buller River, and its continuation, which forms the eastern side 
of the Inangahua Valley, is then called the Brunner Range. 

Besides being completely cut through by the Mokihinui and Bidler rivers, the 
Glasgow Range is deeply dissected by minor streams. For several miles south of 
Mount Glasgow it has an extremely rugged narrow crest of serrate appearance. Here 
also signs of glacial action in the form of cirques, U-shaped valleys, and rock-basins 
are not wanting. Although the stage of dissection is mature, the geological youth 
of the range is attested by the involvement of Eocene and Miocene rocks in the Glas- 
gow fault. 

The highest points in the subdivision are found in the northern part of the Paparoa 
Range, which extends from the neighbourhood of Greymouth to the Buller Gorge, 
whence it is structurally continued by the Papahaua Mountains. As seen from West- 
port the most prominent peaks are Mount Kelvin (5,100 ft.), and Mount Buckland 
(4,300 ft.). The rocks forming the Paparoa Range are mainly granite and gneiss, 
which within the subdivision are flanked and to some extent overlain by breccias, 
conglomerates, mudstones, limestones, and sandstones of much younger (Tertiary) age. 

The Papahaua Mountains may be described as forming a distorted plateau consisting 
of granite, gneiss, and Palaeozoic sedimentary rocks, capped in most places by Tertiary 
coal-measures. The principal summits are Mount Rochfort (3,382 ft.), Mount William 
(3,482 ft.). Mount Frederick* (3,621 ft.), and Mount Augustus (3,311 ft.). The Mount 
William Range, which forms part of the Papahaua Mountains, owes its existence 
to strong upthrow on the eastern side of a dislocation known as the Mount William 
fault, and is structurally a miniature replica of the Glasgow and Paparoa ranges. 

From a tectonic point of view the Paparoa-Papahaua Range is a long, faulted 
block that corresponds in many respects to the Glasgow Range. The eastern boundary 
of this earth-block is the Glasgow fault, while its western limit is another great dis- 
location, the Kongahu or Lower Buller fault. The intervening area, as viewed in 
and near the subdivision is tilted to the east, and, as a result, a distinct depression 
marks its eastern margin. South of the Buller this depression, which may be called 
the Inangahua grdhen or trough, becomes very prominent. North of Mount Augustus 
the Papahaua portion of the block has on the whole a strong pitch to the north, so 
that, as with the Mount Kilmarnock extension of the Glasgow Range, the upland 
character lessens in that direction, and north of the Mokihinui River in great measure 
disappears. Owing to the convergence of the Lower Buller and Glasgow faults, the 
Papahaua sub-block also greatly decreases ia width towards its northern extremity. 

The structure of the southern part of the Paparoa Range is fully described in 
Bulletin No. 13 (p. 32), and that of the middle section, together with the Inangahua 
trough, will be discussed in Bulletin No. 18, now in preparation. 

Viewed from Mount Buckland the Paparoa Range shows a congeries of bare jagged 
peaks and spurs, deeply dissected by the Ohikanui River and other streams. Former 

* This is the spelling on page 65 of Haast's 1861 report, but elsewhere in this and also in other early 
reports the name is frequently spelt " Frederic," 


glaciation on a moderate scale is indicated by cirques at the heads of various streams, 
by the deep, U-shaped valley of the Ohikanui, by accumulations of fluvio-glacial gravels 
at various points, and by the presence of small rock-basins, for example that occupied 
by Townson Tarn. 

A feature of the northern portion of the Papahaua-Paparoa earth-block is that 
west of the Mount William Range erosion has almost everywhere removed the softer 
beds overlying the coal-measure grits and sandstones, so that the surface now exposed 
roughly corresponds to a former horizontal plane of deposition — that is, it follows the 
present undulatory conformation of the coal-bearing beds, and is an elevated structural 
plain. East of the Mount William Range denudation has proceeded a step or two 
further, and the coal-measures having thus almost entirely disappeared, a pre-Tertiary 
land surface, which is not greatly modified by modern stream-action, is consequently 
exposed over considerable areas. South of the Buller the once-existing coal-measures 
have been wholly removed from the higher portions of the Paparoa Range, and the 
old land thus exposed has been, as mentioned above, deeply dissected, partly by ice, 
but mainly by water. 

Former Peneplanation. 

In recent years various writers have regarded the highlands of Nelson, Westland, 
and Canterbury as forming portions of one or more elevated and dissected peneplains.* 
No very definite statements as to the date of peneplanation have yet been made. 
Morgan has suggested an early Miocene agef for the North Westland or Wainihinihi 
peneplain, but consideration of the facts now known indicates that peneplanation, if so 
widespread as supposed, existed in pre-Tertiary times. The chief reasons for this 
belief are the presence of Eocene outliers in various parts of Nelson, and the com- 
paratively short interval between the Eocene and the Miocenj, too brief to permit of 
base-levelling by erosive agencies. In the Westport district,' so far as can be perceived, 
the Eocene coal-measures were deposited on a sinking old land that had previously been 
sufficiently levelled to be termed a peneplain. The depressed area, or a portion of it, 
was then considerably elevated, after which came the wide-spread Miocene depression. 
Since the Miocene, the land has been irregularly uplifted as explained elsewhere 
(pages 60, 62), and extensive denudation of the relatively soft Tertiary rocks has given 
rise to the present land-surface, which, as already stated, in many places bears a close 
relation to that existing immediately prior to the Eocene. Thus the Westport high- 
lands, and with them probably the greater part of central and western Nelson, furnish 
an excellent example of what has been termed a fossil peneplain. The same feature is 
also observable in the Charleston districtf and elsewhere in the lowland country. 
(See a later page.) 

Coastal Region. 

What may be called the coastal region consists of the extreme northern part of 
the Papahaua sub-block, together with the strip of land, widening from north to 
south, that lies west of the Lower Buller fault. North of the Mokihinui River the 
coastal region is a hilly bush-clad area in which the predominating rocks exposed are 
Miocene claystones and limestones. The ridges in general attain a height of 1,200 ft. 

* J. W. Gregory, " The Geography of New Zealand " (by P. Marshall), 1905, p. 9 :J. M. Bell and C. Fraser, 
BuU. No. 1, 1900, pp. 24, 26-27 • P. G. Morgan, Bull. No. 6, 1908, pp. 42-43 ; R. Speight and 
others (L. Cockayne, R. M. Laing), "The Mount Arrowsraith District," Trans, vol. xliii, 1911, pp. 
319-21 ; J. Henderson, " On the Genesis of the Surface Forms and Present Draipage-systems of West Nelson," 
Trans., vol. xliii, 1911, pp. 309-11. 

t N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 6, 1908, pp. 35, 42. 

j J. A. Bartrum : " The Geological History of the Westport-Charleston High-level Terraces." Trans., 
vol. xlvi, 1914, pp. 256, 258 (footnote), 261, &c. 

4— Buller-Mokihinui. 


to 1,600 ft., but trig, station J on the northern boundary has a height of 1,846 ft. 
Attention may be called to a decided ridge near the coast, which, however, is intersected 
by the Six-mile and Three-mile streams. This ridge is a continuation of Radcliffe 
Ridge, a similar feature seen south of the Mokihinui. The whole district is well 
dissected by the various streams that traverse it and have cut their beds down almost 
to grade for considerable portions of their courses. 

Between the Mokihinui and Ngakawau rivers is an extension of the hilly country 
seen to the northward, which is not sufficiently high to be included in the mountainous 
part of the Paparoa-Papahaua earth-block. The most elevated points are trig, 
station AM (1,748 ft.) on Radcliffe Ridge, which runs parallel to the coast, and trig, 
station AN (1,728 ft.), which overlooks the gorge of the Ngakawau River at its deepest 
point. Though, on the whole, no more elevated than the district north of the Mokihinui, 
the area to the south has undergone considerably more denudation, so that Miocene 
rocks have disappeared, except on the western side of Radcliffe Ridge. The present 
surface elsewhere consists mainly of Eocene coal-measures and follows their structure to 
a notable extent. Chasm Creek, however, has cut a gorge through the coal rocks into 
underlying granite and gneiss, which also are exposed at several points in the water- 
shed of Charming Creek. 

The belt of country seaward of the Lower Buller fault begins as an extremely 
narrow coastal plain two miles north of the Mokihinui River. South of Granity it 
gradually widens, and at Cape Foulwind has an extreme width of eight miles. Struc- 
turally this coastal belt is of a complex character. The comparatively youthful coastal 
plain that fronts the sea from Gentle Annie Point to near Cape Foulwind is backed by 
high terraces south of Fairdown. These, south of the Little Totara River, become 
merged in an area of somewhat irregular relief with numerous exposures of Miocene 
claystone and limestone. Gravels, however, occur on almost all the ridgetops between 
the various streams, and in the watershed of the Nile are some gravel-covered pakihis 
at elevations corresponding to those, of the high-level terraces seen to the northward. 

From the dips exhibited by the Miocene rocks it may be inferred that west of the 
Lower Buller fault is an earth-block, tilted to the east, and bounded a few miles to 
seaward by a second fault approximately parallel to the former. Confirmation of this 
latter contention is given by the data obtained from a severe earthquake that occurred 
in February, 1913.* This had its origin south-west of Cape Foulwind, whilst a previous 
shock in 1912 had an origin to the north-north-east of the cape.f The supposed 
earth-block, which may be called the Westport block, probably closely corresponds to 
the Paparoa-Papahaua block, except that it lies some thousands of feet lower, and is 
largely covered by the sea. 

The amount of dissection undergone by the coastal region varies with its elevation. 
North of the Ngakawau and again south of the Little Totara the physiography may be 
described as mature, while elsewhere it assumes more youthful forms. At Cape 
Foulwind, near Charleston, and north of the Ngakawau River an ancient land-surface 
of granite and gneiss has been exposed over considerable areas. 

Recent Coastal Plain. — From Gentle Annie Point to the Buller River the Recent 
coastal plain embraces much the greater part of the area seaward of the Kongahu or 
Lower Buller fault. With it may be included the river-flat into which the delta of 
the Buller River appears to merge two or three miles inland. From Birchfield south- 
wards the Recent coastal plain has a considerable width, but west of the Buller River it 

* P. G. Morgan, " Earthquake at Westport, New Zealand," Bull, of the Seismological Society of 
America, vol. iii, No. 3, September, 1913 ; G. Hogben, " Notes on some Recent Earthquakes in New Zealand," 
Trans., vol. xlvi, 1914, pp. 301 3 

f Hogben, op. cit. 











is confined by Pleistocene terraces to a comparatively narrow strip, which, however, west 
of Bradshaw's is decidedly widened if a low terrace there seen can be considered Recent 
in age. As explained in Chapter V, there is difficulty in defining the boundaries of the 
Recent coastal plain, but it may be considered as passing inland of the somewhat 
elevated ridge near Cape Foulwind (which for some time must have formed an island) 
and again reaching the coast at Tauranga Bay. Hence to the Waitakere River near 
Charleston is a moderately wide but not well defined belt covered mainly by Recent 
sands, which for some distance south of Tauranga Bay form fixed sand-dunes, or ridges 
originally forested, and now in part cleared. These reach a height of fully 90 ft. 

Part of the surface of the Recent coastal plain consists of open pakihi with a 
shallow peaty soil, but is hardly swamp in the ordinary sense of the word, for it is 
comparatively dry in fine weather, and even after heavy rainfall is crossable on foot, 
there being sufficient fall to carry away such water as is not absorbed by the peat. 
The subsoil usually consists of a foot or two of clayey silt, beneath which is compact 
gravel, with the uppermost layer in many places well cemented by oxide of iron. 
Towards the shore there are usually strips of typical swamp representing infilled lagoons, 
but these are bordered by a continuous sandy belt on which forest fiourishes. Along 
the coast and in places inland are low dunes and well-defined beach-sand ridges. The 
deltaic areas near the mouths of the main stream, and the river-flats into which one 
or two of these merge — ^for example, the " Orowaiti flats " inland from Westport — -have 
a fairly deep sandy or silty soil of moderately good to fertile character, and therefore 
have largely been brought under cultivation during the past fifty years. 

Older Terraces bordering the Recent Coastal Plain. — As already mentioned, some com- 
paratively low terraces have been included in the Recent coastal plain. Inland of these 
the gently rising surface of the coastal belt is broken by one or two steps, which, 
except where modified by the BuUer and other streams, are not at all pronounced. 
These terraces, found chiefly between Westport and the Little Totara River, and to a 
smaller extent near Fairdown, have tops ranging from 100 ft. to nearly 250 ft. above 
soa-levol. They flank an extremely prominent series of terraces, which in one step 
rise 250 ft. or more, so that the tops are roughly 500 ft. in height on their outer 
margins, and near the mountains may be fully 600 ft. Only one or two quite 
unimportant steps break the even surface of the high-level terrace-tops. All the 
terraces, it may be observed, have a gentle seaward slope, and the edges are usually 
parallel to the coast, except where they have been modified by the Buller or the 
minor streams that in general intersect them approximately at right angles. The 
high-level terraces are well developed to the east of Westport, where the)'' are known 
by the names of Rochfort Terrace, Giles Terrace, German Terrace, Caledonian Terrace, 
&c. These really form one terrace, broken by the valleys of the Orowaiti and its 
various branches. West of the Buller, at practically the same level as the Orowaiti 
terraces, is Caroline Terrace, which, though interrupted to some extent by intersecting 
streams, may be regarded as reaching the Little Totara River. In the vicinity of 
Charleston the remains of various terraces, the most prominent being near the 500 ft. 
contour, are visible. Traces of others at still higher levels are also observable. 

The terraces of the coastal region, with the exception of those south of the Little 
Totara River and inland of a limestone escarpment, all show a wave-cut margin facing 
the coast, and apparently the surfaces even of the highest have been determined mainly 
by the sea, though work performed by the Buller and other streams has complicated 
matters. Thus stream-gravels are found spread over the surface, whilst near the 
mountains pluvial deposits, talus, and some probable morainic material occur as surface 
accumulations. The writers have therefore to rely mainly upon McKay's evidence tor 
4* Buller-Mokihinui. 


the statement that in some places at least marine deposits occur beneath the stream- 
gravels covering the highest terraces, as, for example, east of Addison's. The lower 
terraces, composed of shingly gravel and sands, are obviously raised beaches. They 
contain black-sand leads, which have been extensively worked for gold (see Chapters II 
and VI). 

The older terraces, except over small areas near Charleston, in which the bed-rock 
is gneiss, are everjnvhere built on a foundation of eroded Miocene strata, as is well 
seen in the deeply-cut valleys of the Totara and other streams. Near or at the top 
of the gravels that form the principal material of the terraces there is generally a 
layer cemented by oxide of iron, or in the absence of this a layer of clay, above which 
comes a thin covering of peaty soil. This, as a rule, is even more infertile than the 
similar soil of the poorer parts of the Recent coastal plain. Thus the terrace-tops 
form t3^ical pakihi, and only on portions of the steep faces is any forest growth to 
be found. 

Further remarks upon the terraces of the coastal region will be found in Chapter V. 
J. A. Bartrum has lately written a full account of the high-level terraces,* and to 
this the reader may be referred for further information, more especially concerning 
the mode in which the terraces have been formed and the somewhat involved post- 
Miocene history that they indicate. 

Hilly Areas of Coastal Region west of Lower Buller Fault. — At Cape Foulwind is a 
small isolated ridge of gneissic granite on which repose Miocene claystone and lime- 
stone with a general easterly dip. Southward of the Little Totara River is a hilly 
district where the ancient terraces have been largely destroyed by the lateral erosion 
of the various streams. The rocks exposed are Miocene claystone and limestone, in 
most places capped by Quaternary gravel, of which the geological map shows a more 
continuous sheet than actually exists. 

A limestone escarpment of the cuesta type, facing the sea, begins near the Wai- 
takere (Nile) River, and extends southward to the boundary of the subdivision. Inland 
of the cuesta are wide fiat-topped ridges of Miocene claystone, gravel-capped, and 
separated by the various branches of the Waitakere. Seaward is the gneissic surface 
of the fossil peneplain previously mentioned, partly hidden by Miocene coal-measures 
and Pleistocene gravels or sands. 

Inangahua Graben. 

The Inangahua graben, as developed within the subdivision, is formed by the 
tilted and relatively downfaulted eastern portion of the Paparoa-Papahaua earth-block. 
The Glasgow fault, beyond which rise the Brunner and Glasgow ranges, is its eastern 
boundary, but the western limit is somewhat indefinite, or, rather, there is difficulty 
in defining it. Since, however, the greater part of the graben is outside the Buller- 
Mokihinui Subdivision, its full description will be left to the Reefton bulletin. The 
portion within the subdivision consists of the lower valleys of Pensini and New creeks, 
together with the fiat at the great bend of the Buller River below the Lyell bridge. 
Southward the graben continues through the Inangahua Survey District, and ultimately 
includes much of the Grey Valley.f Northward it appears to end near the junction 
of New and Roger creeks, where a fault striking north-easterly meets the Glasgow 
fault. A depressed area, however, the downtUted margin of the Paparoa-Papahaua 
block, still continues far to the northward, but various streams have cut their valleys 
across it, thus giving rise to transverse ridges, and the trough appearance is almost destroyed. 

* " The Geological History of the Westport-Charleston High-level Terraces." Trans., vol. xlvi, 1914, 
pp. 265-62. 

t N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 13, 1911, p. 34. 


River-flats and Inland Terraces. 

The river-flats of the Recent coastal plain, such as those formed by the BuUer, 
have already been mentioned. Of the flats not connected with the Recent coastal plain 
the largest is that at Seddonville, most of which has been cleared and grassed. There 
is a smaller flat lower down the river at St. Helens, separated from the other by a 
short gorge cut in hard sandstone or grit, and from the coastal plain by a longer 
gorge excavated in gneiss. The flats are due to the Mokihinui River having widened 
its valley in a downwarped area of soft Miocene and Eocene rocks, the position of 
which has been determined mainly by the eastward tilt of the Papahaua earth-block. 
The separating bar of hard rock above St. Helens owes its presence to a minor struc- 
tural feature ; but, if the river had worked somewhat more to the northward, a gorge 
would not have been formed at this point. Reference to the maps will make the 
matter clear. 

At Corbyvale, in the extreme north-east of the subdivision, is a gravel flat with an 
area of five or six hundred acres. It has been formed by the accumulation of fan 
and flood-plain gravel in a stream-modified portion of the trough made by the tilting 
of the Papahaua earth-block against the Glasgow block, and therefore has essentially 
the same origin as the Seddonville flat. Of almost exactly similar genesis is a small 
flat to the south-west of Corbyvale in the upper valley of Six-mile Creek. 

In the upper Ngakawau and Mackley watersheds are various small stream-flats 
flanked by flat-topped terraces of some size. The latter in respect of origin may be 
compared to the terraces inland of the limestone escarpment near Charleston.* The 
gravels that cover the flats and cap the terraces being as a rule thin, and having 
unsurveyed boundaries, are not indicated by the geological maps, which show merely 
the bed-rock — in this case soft Eocene mudstone. 

The Blackburn pakihi, near the head of the stream of the same name, is peculiar 
in that it is quite flat to the eye, with the exception of three isolated hills of Eocene 
mudstone, and yet is practically devoid of surface gravel. It is part of the structural 
trough already mentioned, and its flatness is the result of work done by the Blackburn 
Stream and its branches on the comparatively soft mudstone that underlies the pakihi 
everywhere except at its northern or outlet end. 

In the south-eastern part of Orikaka Survey District the Buller River and its 
tributaries, New and Pensini creeks, have formed a series of terraces and small 
flood-plains in the depression (Inangahua grdben) caused by the eastward tilt of the 
Papahaua block. 

From its mouth to within a few miles of its source the Ohikanui River is bordered 
almost continuously by alluvial deposits. In the lower part of the valley narrow 
flood-plains are somewhat prominent, and may at a future date be found worth clearing 
and grassing. The soil, however, being formed mainly of sand derived from granitic 
rocks, is poor. The terraces that bound the flats or approach the river-banks, are of 
heterogeneous character, being composed of fluvio-glacial gravels, the fans of minor 
streams, pluvial deposits, and talus. 

In the Blackwater Valley are several small areas of stream-flat and terrace, the 
largest of which is from one to two miles above the mouth of the stream. It has a 
poor soil, and is worth very little from an agricultural point of view. 

The principal streams traversing the subdivision are the Mokihinui and the 
Buller or Kawatiri, both of which, however, have much the greater part of their 

* See J. A. Bartrum, op. cit., p. 260. 


courses outside the area now being described. Smaller streams, with tlieir watersheds 
wholly or mainly within the subdivision, are the Ngakawau, Waimangaroa, Totara, 
and Waitakere or Nile. There are many peculiarities in connection with the stream- 
courses, most of which, as will be seen from the following pages, are explained by 
the remarkable earth-movements that have taken place since Miocene times. 

The Mokihinui River has its sources in wild mountainous country to the east 
and north-east of the subdivision. Its two chief branches, coming from opposite 
directions, join on a flat about six miles east of the subdivision boundary, and the 
united stream then flows westward in a series of calm reaches separated by rapids 
through a deep gorge, or in more technical language, canyon, cut in the Glasgow 
earth-block, whence it emerges into the Seddonville flat. Leaving this by the short, 
low gorge mentioned on page 53, it curves round the St. Helens flat, flows through 
a third gorge, and, traversing the narrow coastal plain, enters the sea. Only the 
last two miles of its course are tidal. 

The gorges of the Mokihinui River require some comment. They were evidently 
formed during the elevation of the Glasgow and Paparoa-Papahaua blocks, and there- 
fore it follows that the river is antecedent to the block-forming movements, or, at least, 
to those that took place after the land had emerged from the sea. 

The Ngakawau River takes its rise on the western slope of the Glasgow Range, 
and after reaching the depressed inner margin of the Paparoa-Papahaua block flows 
northward or north-westward for several miles. In this part of its course it is 
joined at short intervals by various branches, some of which come from the Glasgow 
Range, one — the Blackburn — comes from the south, and one — St. Patrick Stream — has 
its sources comparatively near the sea, on the eastern slopes of Mounts Frederick and 
Augustus. After being joined by St. Andrew Stream it enters a most remarkable gorge, 
cut deep in gneissic rocks underlying Eocene coal-measures, from which it does not 
emerge until near the sea. The existence of this gorge may be considered proof that 
the river was antecedent to the main uplift and tilting of the Paparoa-Papahaua 
block, for it has actually cut through the summit of a domed elevation. A sketch 
by W. M. Cooper, which bears the suggestive title of " Hill cleft in twain," has been 
reproduced on Plate IX. (See also section on line AB, Ngakawau and Mokihinui 
survey districts, opposite page 76.) 

While flowing through its gorge the Ngakawau is joined by Charming and Manga- 
tini creeks. Between the headwaters of the latter stream, which rises near Mount 
Augustus, and those of St. Patrick Stream there is no well-defined boundary. As it 
emerges from the gorge the Ngakawau is joined by Mine Creek, which has its source 
between the heads of Mangatini and Granity creeks. 

Attention may be called to the striking contrast between the Ngakawau, as seen 
in its gorge, and some of its tributaries, which flow as consequent streams down 
structural slopes of hard coal-measure grits, wherein they have cut gorges of moderate 
depth only. How far the latter streams represent the drainage existing prior to the 
erosion of the soft Kaiata mudstone that once overlay the grits is doubtful. 

The Waimangaroa River, though a smaller stream than the Ngakawau, exhibits 
almost the same features. From its source near Mount Frederick it flows eastward 
for some miles parallel to the dip of the coal-measures, and therefore in this part of 
its course exhibits the features of a consequent stream. On reaching the foot of the 
Mount William Range it is diverted to the southward through the structural valley 
associated with the Mount William fault. At Kiwi Compressor the stream bends to 
the west, and enters a gorge that rapidly increases in depth until opposite Denniston 
it IS nearly 2,000 ft. deep (see section on line CD, Kawatiri and Ngakawau survey 
districts and Plate X). Thus the lower course of the Waimangaroa River is evidently 









antecedent to the main portion of the uplift of the Papahaua sub-block. After 
emerging from the gorge it flows over the coastal plain, and finally gives rise to a 
long narrow lagoon bordering the sea-coast. 

The Buller Eiver, the largest stream on the west coast of the South Island, enters 
the subdivision a mile or two below the old mining township of Lyell. It is here 
emerging from the Lyell Gorge, which is cut obliquely through the Glasgow-Brunner 
earth-block. Making a remarkable horse-shoe bend, partly conditioned by the Glasgow 
and other faults, it flows southward for a few miles in the Inangahua Survey District. 
After being augumented by the Inangahua River, it turns to the west and enters the 
well-known Lower Buller Gorge, cut through the Paparoa-Papahaua Range. A 
tributary of some consequence is the Mackley or Orikaka River, which flowing from 
the north joins the main stream two miles above Berlin's, where it re-enters the 
subdivision. In its further coui-se through the gorge the Buller is joined by the 
Blackwater, Ohikanui, and various smaller streams. A few miles from Westport it 
emerges on the coastal plain, over which it flows with a northerly course to the sea. 
At its mouth is a delta of very moderate size for so important a stream. 

From points near Westport somewhat vague indications of a wide and mature valley- 
floor may be seen high above the entrance to the Buller Gorge. The natural inference 
is that the supposed valley was formed by the ancient Buller at a time when the 
Paparoa Range stood much lower than at present, but the view obtained is imperfect, 
and the suggested interpretation of the physiography doubtful. Observations from 
different points of view, and perhaps a contoured map, are necessary before a definite 
conclusion can be reached. 

Though a very large river, the Buller is tidal for little more than three miles 
from its mouth. Above the tide-limits it exhibits a series of calm reaches separated 
by rapids, and on the average has a grade of between 6 ft. and 7 ft. per mile. In 
the early days numerous gold-seekers ascended the river in canoes, and for a few 
years considerable traffic was borne by barges, which on their upward journey were 
drawn by horses past the rapids. The calm reaches in the Buller Gorge, as shown by 
a few soundings made in April, 1913, when the river was very low, have maximum 
depths of from 20 ft. to 40 ft., the deepest pool, found under Hawk's Crag, being 
40 ft. 5 in. deep. During ordinary floods such as occur annually the Buller rises 
20 ft. to 25 ft. in the gorge. Occasional floods exceed 33 ft., and the greatest known 
is reported to have covered the trusses of the Ohikanui Bridge, a rise of about 45 ft. 
above ordinary river-level at this point. The area of the Buller watershed has been 
estimated at 2,341 square miles, and its discharge at 990,897 cubic feet per minute, 
equal to 16,515 cubic feet per second.* 

From what has been said on former pages with respect to the gorges of the 
Mokihinui, Ngakawau, and Waimangaroa rivers the reader will anticipate the state- 
ment that the Buller River is antecedent to the formation of the Paparoa, Brunner, 
and Glasgow ranges. The Lyell and Lower Buller canyons are therefore portions of 
the river-course that are probably just as ancient as any other part of the present 
Buller— for example, its headwaters. There is then no evidence to show that the 
Upper Buller once flowed down the Inangahua Valley to join the Grey River, but 
was captured by a small stream which had cut through the Paparoa Range, as 
supposed by Marshall. f Doubtless at one period a number of streams flowed westward 
from the Southern Alps to the sea, but during the formation of tlie block mountains and 
grdben of western Nelson most of these were partly or wholly diveited from tlieir 
proper courses. The Buller, however, succeeded in maintaining its ancient direction 

* " Handbook of New Zealand," 1886 (Hector), p. 64. 
t " Geography of Now Zealand," 1905, pp. 140-42. 


with comparatively slight modifications. With it may be compared the Manawatu 
River, which is antecedent to the Ruahine-Tararua Range,* through which it has 
carved a deep canyon, corresponding in its main features to the Lower Buller Gorge. 

The hypothetical Moutere River, supposed by Hectorf and McKayJ to have flowed 
in early Pliocene times from Blind Bay to Ross, or in the reverse direction, can 
never have existed if the Lower Buller is as ancient a stream as here predicated. 
This matter will be further discussed in the Reef ton Bulletin (No. 18). 

In writing the preceding pages the authors have tacitly made various assumptions 
which may or may not be correct. Thus it is supposed that the Southern Alps and 
their northern continuation, the Spencer and St. Arnaud ranges, were in existence 
during the Miocene, and that uplift began at the close of the Miocene in such a way 
that there was a consequent slope to the westward. Subsequently differential elevation, 
accompanied by strong faulting, gave rise to a number of earth-blocks in western 
Nelson. It may be that the formation of some of these blocks began in Miocene or, 
earlier times. If so, the physiography of the Westport district becomes exceedingly 
complex ; but the leading statements here made — namely, that differential earth- 
movements have determined the main physiographic features, and that the streams 
flowing through the mountain-ranges are antecedent to the latter — will still hold good. 

The Totara River and various other smaller streams rise on the western slopes of 
the Paparoa Range in valleys slightly modified by glacial action, and after flowing 
through the coastal region enter a long narrow lagoon bordering the coast. 

The Nile or Waitakere River, which reaches the sea near Charleston, is similar 
in most respects to the Totara, but is a considerably larger stream, and does not 
form a lagoon at its mouth, the conditions being unfavourable. The northward trend 
of its various branches is noteworthy. Before the emergence of the coastal region 
from the sea during the Pleistocene, these branches were separate streams, and the 
Waitakere, like the Totara, may thus be considered an engrafted river. Another 
noteworthy feature is the gorge that the main stream in its lower course has cut 
through Miocene limestone since the Pleistocene uplift. Near its mouth it has begun 
to incise the gneiss of the fossil peneplain mentioned on page 49. 

Drainage-areas. — As measured by planimeter the drainage-areas of the main streams 
within the subdivision are as follows: Ngakawau, 40-1 square miles; Waimangaroa, 
21-9 square miles ; Ohikanui (tributary of Buller), 53-7 square miles ; Blackwater (tributary 
of Buller), 34-5 square miles; Totara and Little Totara, together, 38-8 square miles; 
Waitakere,, 325 square miles (only that portion of watershed in subdivision measured). 


Though there are no large waterfalls in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision the 
smaller streams, as might be expected in a region of such marked relief, exhibit many 
steep cascades and falls of considerable height, especially towards their heads. A small 
tributary of the Waitakere River has a drop of possibly 700 ft. or more, but this is in 
the Brighton Survey District, outside the subdivision. There is a very fine waterfall, 
with a drop of over 150 ft. on the Mangatini Creek at its junction with the Ngakawau. 
Throughout the area covered by coal-measures in the Papahaua sub-block small waterfalls 
are abundant. Some of these owe their existence to the cutting-back of a soft shaly 

* H. Hill : " Notes on the Geology of the country between Dannevirke and Wainui, Hawke's Bay." 
Trans., vol. 26, 1894, p. 393, and Eighth Ann. Rep. N.Z.G.S., G.-2, 1914, pp. 132, 165. 

f " Abstract Report on the Progress of the Geological Survey of New Zealand during 1866-67," 1867, p. 13. 

J " Geological Explorations of the Northern Part of Westland," Mines Report, C.-3, 1893, p. 174. See 
also N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 6, 1908, p. 115, &c. 


stratum occurring under hard grit, whilst others are directly connected with minor faults 
which have caused a drop in the stream-bed. 

Springs and Underground Watercourses. 

Small springs depositing oxide of iron are abundant in many places. They may 
issue from gravel, Miocene claystone, or rocks belonging to the coal-measures. In 
Charming Creek, during a • spell of dry weather when the stream was extremely low, 
numerous tiny springs smelling of sulphuretted hydrogen and forming minute deposits 
of sulphur were observed issuing from the dark mudstone of the coal-measures. 

On the beach bordering the coastal plain numerous seepages of nearly fresh water 
may be seen when the tide is out. They are obviously due to percolation of surface 
water through the sand and shingle belt near the shore-line. 

In places where limestone appears on the surface small streams disappear or partly 
disappear until the boundary of the limestone area is reached. The most notable 
example of this is the Six-mile Creek, about two miles west of Corbyvale. 

Lakes and Ponds. 

There are no sheets of water worthy of the name of " lake " in the Westport 
district. Lake Boyle, east of Mount Glasgow, and Townson Tarn, near Mount Buck- 
land, are mountain tarns occupying ice-carved hollows. Lake Rochfort, on the western 
slope of the mountain with the same name, has been much enlarged by dams, and 
indeed may be wholly of artificial origin. 

Near Westport, Addison's, and elsewhere the pakihis are dotted with many artificial 
ponds or " dams " of various sizes, all, except two reservoirs in connection with the 
Westport waterworks, constructed for mining purposes. The positions of most of these 
are shown on the maps. 


Quite a number of lagoons occur on the outer margin of the coastal plain. In 
order from north to south are the small lagoon at the mouth of the Mokihinui River ; 
the series of long, extremely narrow lagoons entered by Jones Creek, Granity Creek, 
the Waimangaroa River, and other streams ; the Orowaiti Lagoon ; the Westport or 
Bradshaw Creek - BuUer Lagoon, and the Totara Lagoon. These lagoons are similar 
in all respects to those of North Westland described in former bulletins.* The 
southern part of the Granity Creek Lagoon during the past fifty years has decreased in 
width and depth, presumably owing to material deposited by the inflowing streams, 
and in places has become a narrow belt of swamp. Similar strips of swamp between 
the old beaches west of Birchfield and elsewhere are evidently of analogous origin. 


From the southern boundary of the subdivision to the mouth of the Waitakere 
or Nile River, bold cliffs of gneiss front the sea, except at the two tiny bays near 
Charleston, one of which. Constant Bay, was formerly used as a port for small vessels. 
From Rahui, just north of the Waitakere, to Tauranga Bay, a distance of over eight 
miles, is the Nine-mile Beach, backed in most places by sandhills of varying height. 
At two to five miles north of Rahui, however, coastal dunes are absent, and only a 
narrow low strip of land separates the beach from the Totara Lagoon. Gneissic granite 
forms the south headland of Tauranga Bay and the high cliffs with their outlying islets 
and rocks northward to Cape Foulwind. Off the cape are three granite stacks— The 

* See N.Z.G.S. bulletins Nos. I, 6, and 13. 


Steeples— and a number of low rocks, mostly awash at high tide. These islets indicate 
the former extension of the shore in this locality at least two miles to the seaward of 
its present position. 

From Cape Foulwind, where the coast bends to the east, vertical cliffs of Miocene 
claystone and sandstone, unconformably capped by a few feet of younger rocks, face 
the sea for nearly two miles. At their foot is a sandy or shingly beach, which, 
interrupted only by the mouths of the various rivers, continues along the margin of 
the coastal plain, and in most places has a background of low sand-dunes. As shown 
by the map of Steeples and Kawatiri survey districts, at the mouth of the Buller is a 
decided delta, the outgrowth of which is aided by the long moles constructed by the 
Westport Harbour Board. Bast of the Orowaiti Lagoon, perhaps as a result of the 
harbour-works, the sea during recent years has eaten away a strip of the coast, here 
curving to the north-east : elsewhere a slight outward growth of the land has probably 
taken place. For many miles to the northward the beach is of a uniform character, 
but at Granity a few isolated stacks known as the Torea Rocks give some variety. At 
Gentle Annie Point, two miles north of the Mokihinui, the sea beats against Hght- 
coloured cliffs of calcareous rocks. For some miles to the north cliffs of fault-crushed, 
brecciated granite bound the shore, but at Kongahu Point, the extreme northern 
point of the subdivision, calcareous rocks again appear at sea-level, and form a line 
of high cHfis for some miles to the northward, as mentioned by Webb.* A few 
outlying rocks and islets between Gentle Annie and Kongahu points show that during 
Recent times the sea 'has encroached upon the land. 

Von Haast mentions that he observed a sunken forest on the coast-line east of 
Cape Foulwind, and suggests earthquakes as the cause of the subsidence. f These may 
have taken place during the years 1826 and 1827, when severe shocks were felt by 
sealers on the west coast of Otago.J Since 1860, all traces of the sunken forest seem 
to have been removed through decay of the trees and the action of the sea. 

Outline of Geology. 

The geological formations in the Westport district are easily divided into two sets 
separated by a striking unconformity. The one, of great antiquity, consists mainly of 
highly folded greywacKe, argillite, hornfels, schist, gneiss, and intrusive acid igneoas 
rocks such as granite and quartz-porphyry. In pre-Tertiary times these rocks, it 
vvould seem, were base-levelled, and upon the peneplain so produced was deposited the 
second set of strata, consisting of a succession of breccias, conglomerates, grits, sand- 
stones, mudstones, and limestone, in places unconformably capped by Quaternary sands 
and gravels. 

Sequence and General Structure of the Several Formations. 

In the study of the older set of rocks it was found that in places a complex of 
granite, gneiss, and schistose rocks of apparently sedimentary origin was exposed. 
Some evidence was also obtained showing that the gneiss and schist unconformably 
underlay argillites and greywackes believed to be of Ordovician age. Hence the 

* N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 11, 1910, p. 3. 

f " Topographical and Geological Exploration of the Western Districts of the Nelson Province, New 
Zealand," 1861, pp. 111-12. Heaphj', however, who in 1846 observed standing and upro ted trees below 
high-water mark near Cape Foulwind, ascribes the phenomenon to erosion by the sea, and does not suggest 

X Rev. Richard Taylor : " New Zealand and its Inhabitants," 1855, p. 235 ; quoted by R. McNab in 
" Murihiku and the Southern Islands," 1907, p. 262. See also LyeU's " Principles of Geology," 12th edition, 
1875, vol. ii, p. 82. 

Table op geological foemations. 

McKAY (1895). 

Rbcbnt — 
Glacier and river alluvia ; lit- 

Pleistocene — 

High-level old river-ohannels 
and terraces. 



Older Pliocene and Upper 

Lower Miocene. 

Oretaoeo - Tertiary and Ore- 



PARK (Geology op 
N.Z., 1910). 



Adjacent Islands, 1912.1 



Wanoanui System (part Wanganui System. 

[Wanganui System.'] 


[Te Anad Series (Devonian).] 

Maitai Series (Oaubunifbrous) 

Massive and Intrusive 

Oamaru Series. 



Oamaru System. 

Bull. No. 3 (1907). 

Newer Debris. 

Older DfesRis. 

Bull. No. 11 (1910). 

Newer Debris. 

Older Debris. 

(1.) Blue and yellow olays. 

(2.) Limestones. 

(3.) (a.) Sandstones, shales, 
coal-seams, and con- 
(b.) Quartzose conglomer- 

Upper ; Sandstones and 
conglomerates, with 
small lignite seams. 

Lower: Sandstones, 
breccias, grits, and 

[Te Anau Series (Db- [Baton Bivbr System 
voNiAN).] ' (Silurian).] 

HoKONUi System (?) 
(Part of). 

[Kakanui Series = 
Aorere Series.] 

[Igneous Rocks.] 

AoREHE System. 

[Igneous Rocks] 

Haopiri Series. 

Aorere Series^ 

Argillites, grey waokes, and quartz- 
ites (Ordovician). 
Crystalline schists and Highly 

(jUAHTZiTES. meta- 

Grystalline complex ' morphio 


Igneous J U't^'^-ba^i"- ., , 
■o „„ J Basic and semi-basic. 

^°°^^- (Acidic. 

AoREBE Series. 

Igneous j 

/Intermediate and 

Acidic dykes. 
Main granitic in- 

Bull. No. 13 (1911). 

This Bulletin. 

Recent Deposits — 

Piuviatile and marine gravels 
and sands. 

Pleistocene Deposits— 

Morainic fluvio-glacial, fluvia- 
tile, and marine gravels, &c. 

Recent Deposits — 

Pluviatile and marine gravels and sands, 
talus, &c. 

Pliocene Beds — 
Sandstones, lignites, 


2 a 

"Blue Bottom" forma- 

Cobden limestone. Port 
Elizabeth beds. 

^Ouiotumotu beds. 

^ I Kaiata mudstone. 
p Island sandstone. 

< I 

S 1 Brunner beds. 
g Paparoa beds. 

Not represented. 

Greenland Series. 

Basic dykes. 

Tuhua Formation. 

Pleistocene Beds — 

Morainic fluvio-glacial, fluviatile, fluvio- 
marine and marine gravels, marine 
sandstone, &c. 

Not represented. 

(3) Upper : Claystone and sandstone. 

(2) Middle: Limestone, claystone, and 

(1) Lower: Sandstone, grit, shale, and 
conglomerate with brown coal 
and lignite. 

/(3) Kaiata beds. 

p H g J (2) Brunner beds. 

-^ ^ t^ w " 

K H fe H 

I (1) Hawk's Crag breccia and 

Not represented. 







Uncertain Pal^iozoic. 

Aorere Series — 
Argillites, greywackes, hornfels, schists, ' SiLURO - Ordovician (in 
&c. , part older (?) ). 

('Basic dykes. 

Igneous I Intermediate rocks. 
Rocks. '\ Acid dykes. 

Quartz- porphyry. 
Granite and gneiss. 

Early Tertiary (in part 

Post Ordovician and 


• The Awatere Series, at the base of the Wanganui System as defined by Park, is probably equivalent to the Upper Oamaru of this bulletin. 

[To face p. SS. 


tentative conclusion was readied that the former rocks represented an extremely ancient 
series, the sedimentary portion of which was perhaps of pre-Cambrian age, whilst the 
gneiss represented a pre-Ordovician intrusion of granite. Later, Ordovician sedimentaries 
were deposited, and a second series of granitic intrusions took place. The attempt to 
apply these views, however, broke down, and all the ancient sedimentaries have been 
placed in a single series, whilst all the gneisses, granites, and other acid igneous rocks 
have similarly been grouped together. 

According to McKay's classification, the ancient argillites, greywackes, and associated 
rocks belong to the Maitai Series of supposed Carboniferous age, but, for the reasons 
given on page 68, this view cannot be adopted by the writers, and the rocks in question 
have been placed in the Aorere Series, which is known to be, in part at least, of 
Ordovician age. 

The Tertiary formations are represented by two main divisions, the Mawheranui or 
Waimangaroa Series, and the Oamaru Series. The former series begins with the 
Hawk's Crag breccia and the coal-bearing Brunner beds, which are terrestrial deposits, 
and ends with the Kaiata beds of marine origin. The basal rocks of the Oamaru 
Series are mainly terrestrial in origin, and contain seams of brown coal. Above the 
coal horizon are marine sandstone and mudstone followed by limestone, on which rest 
thick beds of bluish mudstone or sandstone. 

Pleistocene and Kecent deposits comprise high-level stream and marine gravels, 
ancient beach-sands, fluvio-glacial gravels, and the more modern river and marine 
deposits, together with talus and pluvial deposits at the foot of mountain-slopes. 

The table facing page 58 shows the classification adopted in this bulletin, together 
with the classifications df various other authors. The present writers are responsible 
for some slight modifications necessary to enable the tabular form of presentation to be 

Geological History. 

The geological history of the BuUer-Mokihinui Subdivision forms part of that of 
western Nelson, and until the whole region has been studied in detail satisfactory 
conclusions concerning the older formations cannot be reached. In the meantime 
the geological history of North Westland, as given in Bulletin No. 13 (Greymouth), if 
somewhat qualified, may be regarded as having a general application to the Westport 

Nothing can here be added to the remarks already made concerning the possible 
pre-Ordovician schists and gneisses of the subdivision. In Aorere (Siluro-Ordovician) 
times western Nelson, Westland, and adjoining districts probably formed the foreshore 
of a continental area, but the position of this land relatively to the present west coast 
of the South Island is uncertain. The suggestion has been made that this ancient 
continent extended far to the west, and, persisting through the Palaeozoic periods into 
the early Mesozoic, was in fact a portion of Gondwanaland.* This hypothesis, however, 
for the present must be regretfully dismissed. I 

Of the many geological changes that doubtless occurred during late Palaeozoic and 
Mesozoic times, no certain record remains, denudation having removed all sediments 
that may have been deposited during these periods. It is probable, however, that, some 
little time before the Triassic, granitic intrusions took place, and were accompanied by 
far-reaching changes. The existing sedimentary rocks were folded, mainly along north- 
west to south-east lines, and in places metamorphosed. Concomitantly, there was 

* P. Lemoine : " Etudes Geologiques dans le Nord de Madagascar," 1906, pp. 464, 466. See also N.Z.G.S. 
Bull. No. 6, 1908, pp. .'J2-34. 

t Soo E. A. NowoU Arbor : " On the Earlier Mesozoic Floras of Now Zealand." Proc. Cambridge Phil. 
Soc, vol. xvii, pt. i, Fob. 1913, j). 123. 


presumably notable elevation of the land, followed by extensive denudation. Whether 
or not during the Trias-Jura period, which is so strongly represented in many parts of 
New Zealand, there was deposition of sediment in western Nelson cannot be stated. 
Throughout the Cretaceous, however, denudation appears to have been prevalent, with 
the result that the surface of the greater part of Nelson, including the Westport district, 
was reduced to the condition of a peneplain. 

About the end of the Cretaceous, or during the Early Eocene, some remarkable 
earth-movements in the nature of local elevation accompanied by violent faulting seem 
to have taken place within or near the district extending southward from Mount 
Rochfort towards Reefton and Greymouth. Over part of this area an enormous 
thickness of fault-smashed angular and semi-angular fragments of rock was distributed 
in the form of talus and pluvial deposits. For these deposits, which form the Hawk's 
Crag breccia, McKay suggests a glacial origin, but the genesis just stated seems much 
more probable. Either contemporaneously with the breccia or at a slightly later 
period the conglomerates of Mount Rochfort and other localities were formed. 
Depression of the land was now taking place, and in a shallow freshwater lake (or 
lakes) was deposited a series of grits, sandstones, and shales with layers of vegetable 
matter, later transformed into bituminous coal. Continued sinking of the land permitted 
the transgression of the sea, and thus resulted in the formation of a considerable 
thickness of marine strata, consisting largely of mudstone, with minor sandstone and 

Between the Eocene and the Miocene, elevation, followed by considerable denudation 
of the bituminous coal-measures, took place, but during the Miocene (Oamaru period) 
the land again sank. Upon the sinking surface conglomerates, sandstones, and shales, 
with layers of vegetable matter now transformed into brown coal, were deposited. 
Once more the sea invaded the land, and that more widely than during the Eocene, so 
that marine sandstones, mudstones, and limestones of Miocene age correspondingly 
overlap the Eocene rocks. 

During the Pliocene notable elevation occurred, but the movements were differential, 
so that some parts of the land hardly rose, whilst portions of tiited earth-blocks, 
separated by enormous meridional faults, were forced to great heights. The mountains 
for a time were sufficiently lofty to become the home of glaciers, which during the 
Pleistocene in places descended to the lowlands. A well-marked depression in the 
early or middle Pleistocene was followed by periods of minor elevation alternating with 
periods of rest or slight depression, the upward movements predominating, so that at 
the present day raised beaches are found several hundreds of feet above sea-lev?l. 
Before the close of the Pleistocene the glaciers on the Paparoa and Glasgow ranges had 
entirely disappeared. Since then there has been slight further elevation of the land, the 
modern part of the coastal plain has formed, the sea-cliffs have been cut back, and 
considerable denudation of the more elevated portions of the subdivision has taken place. 

Plate X. 

ViEAV OF Waimangaroa Gorge, looking Westward from the 
Neighbourhood of Deep Creek. 

VllOW l,()()Kli\(l LI' OlllKAiM'l lUvER VaLLEV FROM A PuiN'l' NIOAI! .Il".\CTU)A^ (IF SiHIOAM WITH BlLLKU. 

Part of Buckland Peaks in Pigiit J{ackoround. 
Ge.ol. Bull. No. 17.'] \_To fori- /)ti,/e (>(). 


























Age of Faults 

Faulted Blocks and Nature of Faulting 

Detailed Description of Faults . . 

Lower BuUer or Kongahu Fault 

Glasgow Fault 

Mount William Fault 


Detailed Description of Faults — continued. 
Faults near Seddonville 
Faults of Denniston-Millerton Uplands 
Area East of Mount William Range . . 
Eastern Part of Ohika Survey District 
Hypothetical Seaward Fault 




The physiographic details given in the preceding chapter indicate that fault-fractures 
are 'remarkably prevalent in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision, and that the main 
physical features of the area have been determined by the associated earth-movements.* 
The major faults in many places determine geologic and topographic boundaries, 
whilst dislocations of smaller extent hinder the economic working of the bituminous- 
coal mines. On the bare uplands extending from Mount Rochfort to the Ngakawau 
River the faults are generally easily traced, but elsewhere, owing to the forest covering 
and the rugged topography, exact mapping is almost or quite impossible. The great 
faults, however, can be at least approximately mapped, and data obtained, which 
though imperfect, afford results of considerable interest and importance. 

Age op Faults. 

The two major faults of the subdivision involve Miocene rocks, and are therefore 
of post-Miocene age, but it is possible that fracture began in an earlier period. Various 
other faults traverse Miocene rocks, whilst the Eocene coal-measures have been dislocated 
by hundreds of faults, great and small, most of which are probably of post-Miocene 
age. Though this statement cannot be conclusively proved, yet the writers may assert 
with some confidence that the minor fractures are subsequent rather than antecedent 
to the major faults, which are, as just mentioned, in part at least, of post-Miocene date. 

The Palaeozoic rocks of the subdivision were undoubtedly severely affected by fault- 
ing in pre-Tertiary times, and one or two of these early faults have been detected, 
but, as a rule, data for determining pre-Tertiary faxilting are lacking. 

Faulted Blocks and Nature op Faulting. 

The two great earth-blocks — the Paparoa-Papahaua and the Glasgow-Brunner^ — of 
the subdivision are described in the preceding chapter, where also mention of the 
Westport block and of the Mount William sub-block is made. An inspection of the 
maps will show the presence of numerous minor blocks, especially in the Seddonville 
district, where faults are more plentiful, or have been more completely mapped, than 
in other parts of the area. 

Hector perceived the existence of faulted blocks in the Westport district, and 
discussed their mutual relations in the following terms : " Notwithstanding that these 
dislocations or faults are of great extent and magnitude, the vertical displacement in 

* The reader should not omit to consult an interesting and important report by AIox. McKay, entitled 
"On the Geology of Marlborough and South-oast Nelson," pt. ii, in Rop. G.S. during 1890-91, No. 21, 
1892, pp. 1-28, where an excellent account of the major Now Zealand faults and their intluonce upon topo- 
graphy is given. 


some instances being as much as 1,200 ft., it is most probable that they are due rather 
to the local subsidence of portions of a formation that had been raised in mass than 
to an unequal exercise of the elevating force in the first instance. This consideration 
is one of primary importance in tracing the extension of these coalfields and discovering 
the occurrence of workable seams at low elevations, and from what I observed I am 
inclined to expect that under a formation of brown sandy shale and septaria clays 
which skirts the seaward base of Mount Rochfort, the same coal-seam may probably 
occur as that on the summit of the range."* 

Although not disagreeing with Hector's last statement as quoted above, the writers 
have already made it clear that there was " an unequal exercise of the elevating- 
force." The various blocks were more or less tilted during uplift, whilst the Paparoa- 
Papahaua and Glasgow-Brunner blocks were elevated to a far greater extent than the 
Westport block. The view taken by the writers is that the energy consumed in pro- 
ducing uplift was, so to speak, economized or conserved, so that no important block 
was raised to a great height, and then almost immediately allowed to subside.f This 
statement, it may be well to say, does not apply to the minor blocks, most of wl^ch, 
no doubt, are due to normal faults accompanied by subsidence on the hanging-wall side. 

Since it is considered that in the case of the major faults uplift on the eastern 
side rather than downthrow on the western side took place, it follows that the forces 
at work were tensional rather than compressional. The actual fault-planes, so far as 
observable, are either slightly inclined away from the upthrow side — that is, towards or 
under the relatively lower side of the fault — or are vertical. The major faults, therefore, 
cannot be called reversed faults, though they are essentially of that nature, and cor- 
respond closely to fractures on the steeper slopes of unsymmetrical anticlines. The 
effect of fracture is not easily dissociated from that of folding, and hence the estimates 
of throw presently to be given include a varying component due to folding. A similar 
difficulty arises with some of the smaller faults — for example, the Mangatini fault — in 
which part of the disturbance is due to a minor fold or " roll." There can be little 
doubt, moreover, that the presence of unyielding granite, or of indurated and highly- 
folded Palaeozoic rocks beneath the Tertiary strata on the one hand has prevented the 
latter from being regularly folded, and on the other has increased the amount of fault- 
ing to which they have been subjected. 

Detailed Description op Faults. 
Lower Buller or Kongahu Fault. 

In 1892 McKay, in an illuminating report, noted and mapped a great fracture 
along the western base of the Paparoa and Papahaua Mountains . under the name of 
the Lower Buller fault.J Many years later Webb described a considerable fault which 
extends north-eastward from Kongahu Point.§ The survey of the Westport district 
has shown that this dislocation extends southward, and merges into the Lower Buller 
fault. The latter name certainly has priority, but the name of Kongahu fault, given in 
the field, found its way to the map prepared for publication, and is therefore retained 
in this bulletin as an alternative to that bestowed by McKay. A graphic description 
of the fault is given by McKay, who, however, underestimates its maximum throw and 
probably exaggerates its length. The writers may be here allowed to observe that the 
modifications of McKay's statements rendered necessary by later surveys do not sensibly 

* " Abstract Report on the Progress of the Geological Survey of New Zealand during 1866-67," 1867, 
p. 11. See also p. 23 of report with same title and nearly same matter published in 1868 (Rep. G.S. No. 4). 

t See also Chapter III, under the heading of " River.-." 

J " On the Geology of Marlborough and South-east Nelson," pt. ii. Rep. G.S. during 1890-91, No. 21, 
1892, p. 22. 

g "The Geology of the Mount Radiant Subdivision," N.Z.G.S., BuU. No. U, 1910, p 11 


lessen the value of his work, which was founded on a series of reconnaissance surveys, 
and is of the greatest importance to students of New Zealand geology. 

Near Kongahu Point the fault mapped by "Webb is probably joined by a branch 
coming from the north-north-east, which determines its direction for many miles to 
the south. For some distance the fault follows the present coast-line, and then, as 
shown by the maps, passes a little inland. It is, however, actually distributed over a 
zone of some width, the outer margin of which is to seaward of the coast. South of 
Granity, as the coastal plain widens, it gradually leaves the shore-line, but preserves 
its relatively straight course as far as Waimangaroa. From Waimangaroa to near 
Addison's the fault repeatedly curves in strike, and is distributed into a number of 
components. The complexity of the structure on the western side of Mount Rochfort 
is increased by the presence of a great fold in the bituminous coal-measures, which to 
some extent takes the place of the fault. The map of Kawatiri Survey District and 
the cross-section GH, although far from being absolutely correct, give a fair idea of 
the probable nature of the fault between Waimangaroa and the Buller. 

From Addison's to the southern boundary of the subdivision the fault appears to 
be of a more simple nature than to the northward, and trends with a fairly straight 
course a little west of south. The almost complete removal, owing to denudation, of 
the Eocene coal-measures from the slopes of the Paparoa Range probably much simplifies 
the structural details. 

The throw of the Lower Buller or Kongahu fault increases, somewhat irregularly, 
from north to south. At Kongahu Point it is probably between 1,000 ft. and 2,000 ft. : 
at Granity it is over 3,000 ft. ; whilst at Waimangaroa the displacement, including 
the difference of level caused by the associated monoclinal fold or curvature in the 
Eocene coal-measures, must be 5,000 ft. or more. South of the Buller the total dis- 
placement is probably 7,000 ft. or 8,000 ft., and this throw is maintained to the bound- 
ary of the subdivision. The reader may again be reminded that the movement con- 
nected with the fault was mainly elevation of the block to the eastward, and not 
subsidence of the block to the west, which, indeed, has also been elevated to some 

Glasgow Fault. 
In its main features the Glasgow fault is strikingly similar to the Lower Buller 
fault. It has a meridional strike, with an easterly upthrow, rapidly increasing south- 
ward for the first few miles of its course until a displacement of not less than 6,000 ft. 
is attained. 

The fault enters the subdivision at Corbyvale, in the north-east corner of the 
Mokihinui Survey District. Here it is a well-marked fracture, striking to the south-west, 
but apparently does not live far to the north-east, for it is not shown by Webb in 
his map of the Mount Radiant Subdivision. West of Mount Kilmarnock, owing to its 
becoming associated with a meridional fault-zone, it assumes a southerly course. The 
reader will note that the behaviour of the Lower Buller fault at Kongahu Point affords 
an exact parallel. After crossing the Mokihinui River, where its throw is already 
several thousand feet, the fault follows the western base of the Glasgow Range and 
preserves a slightly east-of-south course for many miles. Near the bridge over the 
Buller River south of Lyell it passes outside the eastern boundary of the subdivision. 
From this point it forms the eastern boundary of the Inangahua grdben or trough, 
and the western boundary of the Brunner Range, the structural continuation of the 
Glasgow block. Additional details concerning the Glasgow fault will be found in a 
forthcoming publication* which deals with the Inangahua and adjoining districts. 

* N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 18 : " The Geology and Mineral Resources of the Reefton Subdivision," by 
J. J:l!euder»on^ 


Mount William Fault. 

Forming the western boundary of tlie Mount William Range is the Mount WUliam 
fault, which was noted by Hector as a dislocation with a vertical displacement of 
1,200 ft.,* and has also been mentioned by Cox,t R. B. Denniston,J and McKay.§ In 
its main features it resembles the Lower Buller fault, the strike being south-south- 
westerly, and the upthrow to the east. 

The most northerly point where the fault has been distinctly observed is about a 
mile and a half north of trig, station AF, and less than a mile south-east of the 
Westport- Stockton Coal Company's new workings. West of AF the throw of the 
fault is probably over 400 ft., but at the saddle half a mile to the south has tempo- 
rarily diminished to about 250 ft. At Wilson Saddle the throw is approximately 500 ft., 
at Cedar Creek Saddle 900 ft., and west of Mount William trig, station over 1,500 ft. 
In this locality the fracture assumes a more westerly strike, the change being evidently 
associated in some way with the greater elevation of Mount William. Resuming a 
more southerly direction the fault, with diminishing throw, continues down the valley 
of Cascade Creek, crosses a saddle, and, foUowmg Redmond Creek valley, reaches the 
Buller. It appears to traverse the Ohikaiti Valley obliquely, and, passing over a saddle 
into the Ohikanui watershed, perhaps ends as shown by the map of Ohika Survey 
District. The upper Ohikanui Valley, however, is in line with the fault, and to a 
slight extent may be determined by it. 

Faults near Seddonville. 

The Eocene coal-measures between Seddonville and the Ngakawau River are 
intersected by a large number of faults, some of which will again be mentioned in 
Chapter VI during the detailed description of coal-bearing areas. Several of these 
fractures are described by Hector|| and McKay^ in the old geological survey reports. 
In a general way the faults in this district may be said to follow two prevailing 
directions, one of which is north-north-east, parallel to the Kongahu or Lower Buller 
fault, and the other slightly south of east. In addition there are a few faults with a 
north-easterly strike. 

Faults of Denniston-Millerton Uplands. 

The chief faults traversing the open uplands between Mount Rochfort and the 
Ngakawau River are usually easily traced on the surface, owing to their giving rise 
to prominent cliffs, and also because the scanty soil and vegetation hide very little 
from the eye of the observer. Various faults are mentioned by Cox and Denniston 
in their reports published in 1877, but are not satisfactorily indicated either in the 
published maps or in a map with manuscript additions (probably made by Denniston) 
now in the possession of the Geological Survey. 

The cliffs that mark nearly aU the faults are not the original scarps, but renewals 
of them, due mainly to the removal of the comparatively soft Kaiata beds that once 
overlay the coal-measure grits and sandstones, and may therefore be called fault-line 
scarps.** The reader ought to note, however, that in many cases the reproduction of 
the original scarp is of a perfect character, so that the modern scarp is on the line 

* Op. cit. (1867), p. 11. 

t " Report on Survey of BuUer Coalfield." Rep. G.S., No. 9, 1877, p. 22. 

J " Detailed Notes on the Buller Coalfield." Rep. G.S. No. 9, 1877, p. 133. Here Denniston speaks 
of the " Great East Fault." 

§ " On the New Cardiff Coal Property, Mokihinui Coalfield." Rep. G.S. during 1890-91, No. 21, 1892, p. 78. 

II " On the Mokihinui Coalfield," Rep. G.S. during 1886-87, No. 18, 1887, p. 157. See also accompany- 
ing map. 

1[ " On the Mokihinui Coalfield," Rep. G.S. No. 18, pp. 162, 163, 166 ; " On the New Cardiff Coal Pro- 
perty, Mokihinui Coalfield," Rep G.S. during 1890-91, No. 21, 1892, map and sections opposite p. 80 ; " On 
the Mokihinui Coal Company's Property, Coal Creek, Mokihinui," same volume, pp. 90 et seq. 

** See W. M. Davis : " Nomenclature of Surface Forms on Faulted Structures," BuU, Geol. Soc. of 
America, vol. xxiv, 1913, pp. 206-7, &o. The Westport fault-line scarps would be classed by Davis as 


of fracture, is exceedingly steep, and has a height about equal to the throw of the 
fault. This last feature may be expressed in another way by saying that the hard 
grits and sandstones of the coal-measures have been but little eroded, and owing to the 
ease with which weathered material once produced can be removed by storm-water 
from their barren surfaces, denudation has acted almost uniformly on both sides of 
the fault-scarps, since the re-exposure of the grits, &c. 

The various dislocations of the Denniston-Millerton uplands, like those of the 
SeddonvUle district, with few exceptions fall into two sets, one composed of faults 
approximately parallel to the main fractures, the. other of faults striking to the south 
of east. Almost all are normal faults, apparently produced by tensional strains. On 
the bare upland surfaces many may be observed to begin as small displacements, 
which increase to a maximum, and then gradually die away. Not infrequently more 
or less sUicification has taken place along the fault-planes, so that white siliceous 
shells are frozen to the walls. In some instances, especially where the movement has 
not been great, these show prominent slickensides and grooves, which more often than 
not make a decided angle with the direction of dip, thus showing that the fault- 
movement had a horizontal component (heave) as well as a vertical one (throw). 

Of the faults approximately parallel to the major fractures the most important are 
Kiwi and Webb faults. The former of these may be traced from a point near Kiwi 
Compressor for nearly three miles to the east of north. In the middle part of its 
course it is indicated by a very high cliff facing the Mount William fault-scarp, and 
if a closely adjoining parallel fracture be included has a total downthrow to the east 
of 250 ft. or more. Webb fault appears to begin a few hundred yards to the south- 
east of the northern end of Kiwi fault as mapped, and like it trends to the east of 
north. It has a length of over three miles, and finally dies away near Fly Creek. 
The downthrow is again easterly, and, as judged from the scarp near the point where 
upper St. Patrick Stream crosses the fault, reaches a maximum of over 100 ft. 

There is a considerable fault on the west side of Cascade Creek which has its 
downthrow to the east-south-east, and in conjunction with the Mount William fault 
forms a trough containing a small area of coal-bearing rocks. Near the head of 
Cascade Creek there is also some downwarping of the strata, so that owing to this and 
to the bush that covers the surface in this locality definite data concerning the fault 
cannot easily be obtained. Cox speaks of two " slips " or " breaks " in the valley of 
" Todea " (i.e. — Cascade) Creek, and discusses them at some length.* One of these, 
the " second slip " or the " Creek Break " (see Cox's sections), corresponds to the 
fault just mentioned, but the existence of the other, called by Cox the " first slip " 
or " Cascade Break " is doubtful, the appearance of faulting being due mainly or entirely 
to the combined effects of warping and • of denudation. This so-called " Cascade 
Break " extends as an escarpment or cliff south-westward towards Mount Rochfort, 
where it is of great height, though not nearly so high as stated by Denniston, who 
speaks of an " all but perpendicular face varying in height from 1,000 ft. to 2,000 ft." 

Among the faults striking transversely to the major fault direction, the Millerton 
and Mangatini faults are the most prominent. Both are somewhat complicated by 
small monoclinal folds or " r6lls " in the adjoining strata. The Millerton faidt extends 
in a somewhat south-of-east direction from a point west of Millerton to A. J. Creek, a 
tributary of the Mangatini. It thus interrupts the whole width of the bituminous 
coal-measui'es in this neighbourhood. The throw is northerly, and, if judged from tlie 
steep slope that marks the fault, must be considerable, though not anywhere so great 
as Denniston's estimate of 200 ft.f This slope, however, cannot easily be made the 

* " Report on Survey of Buller Coalfield." Rep. G.S. during 1874-76, No. 9, 1877, p. 109. Sections 
face p. 112. Soo also R. B. Denniston, "Detailed Notes on the Buller Ooalfiold," in samo volume, pp. 132, 
133, &c. 

t Op. cit., p. 137, where it is called fault No. 5. On p. 124 the same fault is mentioned as " fault No. 4. " 

5 — BuUer-Mokihinui. 


basis for even a rougli estimate of the displacement due to fracture, because the dip of 
the strata, in places intensified, increases the apparent throw. Near Millerton, indeed, 
the fault may have small throw, the preponderating factor being " roll " but displace- 
ment is evident and probably predominates where it crosses Mine and Mangatini creeks. 

The Mangatini fault as shown on the maps extends from the upper part of Granity 
Creek for nearly three miles in a south-south-east direction. The western two-thirds of 
the fault is much more a " roll " or monoclinal fold than an actual fracture, as is 
clearly shown by the surface strata (See Fig. 1). Near Mangatini the fracturing con- 
sists of small reversed faults, with .a southerly downthrow opposed to the roll, as 
shown by Fig. 1. In the eastern part of the Westport-Stockton Company's lease 
there is little or no appearance of roll in the strata ; and a northerly downthrow of 
about 50 ft. is indicated by a cliff of that height. Near St. Patrick Stream the fault 
seems to die away. 

The maps sufficiently illustrate most of the other faults observed in the district 
between the Ngakawau Eiver and Mount Eochfort. Very interesting, though of no 
importance, is a series of small reversed faults seen a short distance east of the bridge 
over Mangatini Creek between the Westport-Stockton Company's B and C tunnels. 
These are shown by Fig. 2. 

Area East of Mount William Range. 

In the valley of the Blackburn, in the watershed of Pensini Creek, and in other 
parts of Orikaka Survey District are some considerable faults. Owing to the forest 
covering, the difficulties of access, and the unpromising nature of most of this country, 
these were not fully or accurately determined, and, as will be seen on inspection of 
the maps, are represented more or less ideally by straight lines. 

Eastern Part of Ohika Survey District. 

The faults mapped in the eastern part of Ohika Survey District, like those already 
discussed, for the most part fall into two groups, one striking north-north-east, the 
other east-south-east. To the former group belongs a strong fault or fault-zone which 
follows the Blackwater valley for the greater part of its length, and is indicated in 
several places by bands of crushed rock. Of the east-south-east faults that following 
Stable Creek valley on the north side of the Buller is mapped with considerable 
accuracy from the sudden changes of rock outcrop produced by it. This fault probably 
continues into the Berlin's reach. The long and straight reach (see Plates VIII and 
XII) of the Buller between Tiroroa and Hawk's Crag is probably connected with a 
considerable fault, of which direct evidence is seen at the eastern end. The fracture 
with north-north-west strike shown crossing the Buller east of Hawk's Crag is to some 
extent ideal, but topographical evidence favours it. Parallel faults are not improbably 
present, but the writers did not venture to show these on the map, though their 
existence has been assumed in the mapping of the boundary between Miocene and 
Eocene rocks. It is possible that north-north-east-striking faults follow the valleys of 
Payne (Slaty) and Newman creeks, which enter the Buller east of Stable Creek. If 
these could be proved, a connection between the directions of the faults and those of 
the streams in the Buller Gorge district would be strikingly apparent. 

Hypothetical Seaward Fault. 

The chief evidence for the existence of an active fault to the seaward of the 
present coast-line — namely, the easterly tilt of the coastal region rocks, and the 
testimony afforded by earthquakes — has already been stated (see Chapter III, p. 50). 

Plate XII. 

View looking up Tiroroa Reach, Buller Gorge. 

Hawk's Crag Breccia on Koadsiue, Bullku Corcje, East ok Litii.k Hawk's Crag. Xdte 

Stratification and Moderate Size of Angular Fragments. The Noterook is 6 in. by 4 in. 
Geol. Dull. No. 77.1 [To fare /kkjc (>(!. 










illy VS*^f'..^'.,gaSlR: -^ / 




i \ 



i J^f "i ^^^s-* •■ '' it'''-"' j«*.j. 


■/ "«■■■ 


I- ' if 1 V ■ . v.. ,, , '^^iv 







o ■>; 

^ 1 

2 o 

^' a 





is H 

H c 






Aorere Series 

.. 67 

Oamaru Series — continued. 

Content . . 

.. 67 

General Characters — continued. 

Age and Correlation 

.. 67 

(2.) Middle Oamaru Beds 



.. 68 

(3.) Upper Oamaru Beds . . 




Plants . . 


Date of Folding 
Petrology . . . 
(1.) Argillites 

.. 69 
.. 69 
.. 69 


(2.) Greywackes . . 

.. 69 



(3.) Hornfels 

.. 70 



(4.) Schists 

.. 70 

Bryozoa . . 






Bituminous Coal-measures (Ma\< 

rheranui or 



Waimangaroa Series) 




Content and Subdivision 

.. 71 

Pisces . . 


Conditions of Deposition 






Petrology and General Accou 
(1.) Hawk's Crag Breccia 

.. 73 
.. 73 

.. 74 


nt . . 76 

.. 76 

Pleistocene Beds 

Fluvio-glacial and Morainic Gravels . . 

Fluviatile Gravels . . 

Marine and Fluvlo-marine Gravels, 
Sands, &c. 
Recent Deposits 



(2.) Brunner Beds 


Igneous Rocks 


(3.) Kaiata Beds 

.. 78 

Content and General Account 




Age and Correlation 


Fauna . . 


Granite and Gneiss . . 


Foraminifera . . 


Quartz-porphyry . . 




Acidic Dykes 


Euechinoidea . . 

.. 80 

Intermediate Igneous Rocks 




Basic Dykes 


Scaphopoda . . 

.. 81 



Gasteropoda . . 

.. 81 

I. The Granite Series and Associated 


.. 81 

Igneous Rocks 




(1.) Granites 


Oamaru Series 


(2.) Gneissose Plutonic Rocks 

Content and Subdivision 

.. 82 

and Gneisses 


Conditions of Deposition 

.. 82 

(3.) Quartz-porphyries 


Age and Correlation 

.. 83 

(4.) Pegmatites and Aplites . . 



.. 83 

(5.) Syenites 



.. 83 

(6.) Quartz - diorites and Di- 

General Characters . . 




(1.) Lower Oamaru Beds . 


(7.) Dolerite . . . . 


Coal Pebbles in Oar 

naru Beds 85 

II. Lamprophyres 


Unconformity betw 

een Bitu- 



minous Coal-mea 

sures and 

Chemical Relationships 


Oamaru Series 




The pre-Tertiary sedimentary rocks of the subdivision in the main consist of 
argillites, greywackes, and hornfels, together with limited amounts of schist, and in 
this bulletin are placed in a Palaeozoic series — the Aorere. Some puzzling gncissic 
rocks, which, as stated on another page, may in part represent highly metamorphosed 
sediments, are excluded from the Aorere Series, and are tentatively grouped with 
the igneous rocks. 

Aqe and Correlation. 
Von Haast does not make any definite statement concerning the age of the older 
sedimentary rocks in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision, but from his map of 1861* it 

* See " Report of a Topographical and Geological Exploration of the Western Districts of the Nelson 
Province, New Zealand," 1861. 

5*— Buller-Mokihinui. 


would appear that he regarded them as belonging to a Mesozoic period (probably 
the Triassic). Cox mentions " Triassic slates,"* without, however, giving any reason 
for the age-determination. McKay has always placed the older sedimentary rocks of 
the Westport district in the Maitai Series, which he considers to be of Carboniferous 

In the almost complete absence of fossils the age of the rocks here assigned to 
the Aorere Series remains uncertain, but the name adopted by the writers indicates 
that in their opinion a correlation with the Palaeozoic strata of the Collingwood district 
is probable. Such a correlation has already been made by E. J. H. Webb in the 
case of lithologically similar rocks in the Mount Radiant Subdivision,^ which are 
practically in continuity with the ancient sedimentaries of the Buller-Mokihinui Sub- 
division. These latter may with certainty be correlated with the North Westland rocks, 
assigned to the Kanieri Series in Bulletin No. 1, and to the Greenland Series in 
Bulletins Nos. 6 and 13. They also closely correspond to the auriferous rocks of the 
Reefton district, which for reasons previously stated by one of the writers§ are believed 
to be of pre-Devonian age. 

The thesis that the bulk of the older sedimentary strata west of the Alpine Range 
in Nelson and North Westland belong to the Aorere Series, of Ordovician or Siluro- 
Ordovician age||, and not to the Maitai Series, of probable Trias- Jura age, is one of 
great importance, both from an economic and a scientific point of view. Fortunately, 
the evidence obtained during the course of the recently completed geological survey 
of the critical Reefton area will, when fully pieced together, almost certainly be sufficient 
to resolve the uncertainty that exists at the time of writing. The data already 
available point strongly to the probability of the auriferous Reefton rocks being of 
pre-Devonian age. 


As will be observed from the maps, the Aorere rocks are found almost entirely 
north of the Buller, and occur in irregular disconnected areas of all sizes. Discon- 
tinuity may either be real, and caused by intrusions from an underlying granitic 
magma, or may be due to a capping of Tertiary rocks, and therefore merely apparent. 
Aorere strata form a considerable part of Mount Kilmarnock and of the western slope 
of the Glasgow Range. Another area of some size extends from a point north of 
Mount Frederick into the valleys of Stony Creek and the Waimangaroa River. An 
extremely irregular mass of Aorere rocks, much disturbed by acid igneous intrusions, 
forms part of Mount William Range, whence it extends southward to the Buller River. 
It projects a wide tongue to the south-east, which reaches beyond the Mackley River. 
South of the Buller only two unimportant patches of Aorere strata are seen. One 
of these is east of the junction of the Ohikanui with the Buller, whilst the other, which 
is too small to be clearly indicated on the map, " occurs seven or eight miles up the 
Blackwater River on the boundary-line between Hawk's Crag breccia and granite. 

Observations of dip and strike show that the Aorere rocks are everywhere strongly 
folded, the dip being seldom under 40°, and usually between 60° and 90°. Owing to 

* " Report on Survey of BuHer Coalfield." Rep. G.S. during 1874^76, vol. ix, 1877, p. 17. 

t See for example his report " On the Geology of the Reefton District, Inangahua County," Rep. G.S. 
vol. XV, 1882, pp. 98, 99, 119, 131 ; and also " Geology of the South-west Part of Nelson and the Northern 
Part of the Westland District," Mines Report, 1895, C.-13, p. 27. 

} N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 11, 1910, p. 12. See also Bull. No. 3. 

§ N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 13, 1911, p. 49. 

II Some pre-Ordovician rocks may be included in the Aorere Series as at present defined (see N.Z.G.S. 
Bull No. 3, p. 33), and it may also contain some strata of Silurian age. 


cross-jointing, and more especially to the metamorphism induced by intrusive igneous 
rocks, the original bedding in many places is no longer discernible. For this and 
other reasons, such as faulting and the want of continuity in the various outcrops, the 
general structure is not easily deciphered. It is, however, apparent that the original 
direction of folding was in the north-west quadrant, and probably along north-north- 
west to south-south-east lines. A rough count shows that 64 per cent, of the observed 
strikes are in the north-west quadrant, and 36 per cent, in the north-east ; but more 
of the latter strikes than of the former are obviously influenced by faults or by the 
post-Miocene uplift and tilting, which has notably distorted the pre-existing structure. 
Apparently, however, very little structural modification has been caused by the forces 
that produced the north-east to south-west folding seen in the Southern Alps. 

In the Parapara Subdivision the structure of the Aorere rocks is similar to that 
in the Buller-Mokihinui area, the trend of the folds being north-north-west to south- 
south-east,* whilst in North Westland a north-west to south-east folding is again 

Bate of Folding. 

As regards the time when the Aorere rocks were first subjected to folding, nothing 
definite can at present be said. It is probable, however, that folding accompanied the 
granitic intrusions, which, it is thought, took place in pre-Triassic times. J Possibly 
the first period of flexure was towards the end of the Jurassic, but this view almost 
necessarily implies a Maitai — that is, Trias-Jura — age for the rocks here classed as 
Aorere. It will be observed that the senior author, having now relegated the Green- 
land rocks to an Ordovician or Siluro-Ordovician period, has modified his opinion§ as 
to the time when the main folding of these rocks took place. His views with respect 
to direction and time of structural movements as expressed in Bulletin No. 6 have been 
adversely criticized by Marshall,|| probably with justice as regards the date of folding, 
but the more important thesis advanced by Gregory^ that in New Zealand a mountain 
system trending north-west to south-east preceded the formation of the Southern Alps 
and other ranges with a north-east to south-west trend is but little affected by Marshall's 
arguments. The post-Miocene movements may be regarded as attempts at folding, which 
had little effect on the structure of the Aorere strata beyond producing some degree 
of distortion. 


The rocks of the Aorere Series may be described under the headings of 
(1) argillites, (2) greywackes, (3) hornfels, (4) schists. 

(1.) Argillites. — Argillites are not well represented in the subdivision, but in most areas 
of Aorere rocks there are bands of sufficiently fine grain to be termed argillite. These 
bands are usually of a greenish colour, and have in many cases a silky sheen or 
lustre, due to extremely fine scales of muscovite or allied mica. The argillites are in 
places bleached by contact with the coal-measures. By metamorphic alteration they pass 
into hornfels and schist. 

(2.) Greywackes. — Greywackes of much the same character as those seen in North 
Westland, but on the whole of somewhat finer grain, form the greater part of the 
Aorere rocks of the subdivision. They generally exhibit a bluish-grey or greenish- 

* N.Z.G.S. BuU. No. 3, 1907, p. 34. 

t See N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 6, 1908, pp. 31, 36, 97 ; Bull. No. 13, 1911, pp. 49, 50 ; and P. G. Morgan in 
" A Note on the Stiuctuio of the Southern Alps," Trans., vol. xhii, 191 1, pp. 270, 277. 

J The occurrence of granite jjebbles in the Triassic conglomerates of north Nelson is considered to justify 
the assumption of pre-Triassic granite intrusions in the Westport district. 

§ See N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 0, 1908, pp. 34, 35-37. 

II " New Zealand and Adjacent Islands" (reprinted from Handbuoh der regionalen Geologic), 1912, 
pp. 37-38. 

^See P. Marshall's " Geography of New Zealand," 1905, pp. 12-13. 


grey colour, but in places where overlying coal-measures containing a seam of coal have 
recently been removed by denudation a bleached zone appears. The bleaching is 
evidently due to percolating solutions containing organic acids derived from the original 
vegetable matter of the coal. The work of these acids has been assisted by the 
more or less weathered nature of the ancient rock-surface on which they acted. 

Near the summit of Mount Frederick and in Happy Valley (about two miles to the 
eastward) masses of partly silicified greywacke show a peculiarly gnarled or twisted 
grain, which imparts to them a characteristic appearance, difficult to describe in a few 
words. Silicified greywacke also occurs north-west of Burnett's Face. 

(3.) Hornfels. — Through the thermal metamorphism caused by intrusive granite the 
argilHtes and greywackes pass into hornfels. This is a dark-grey rock, with a peculiar 
sheen, due to the development of biotitic mica.* It has a considerable development 
on the slopes of Mount Glasgow, Mount Kilmarnock, and, in fact, wherever Aorere rocks 
are in contact with granite. In several places — ^for example, in Chasm and Welcome 
creeks — small masses of Aorere rocks have been recrystalUzed to such an extent that 
hand-specimens are with difficulty distinguished from fine-grained granite. Silicification 
may have accompanied recrystallization in some cases — as, for example, in the rock 
represented by No. 3 of the following analyses — but the evidence for introduction 
of silica is by no means conclusive, and it may well be true that the rocks in question 
were originally of a highly siliceous nature. 




Silica (SiOa) . . 




Alumina (AlgOg) 




Ferric oxide (Fe J O3) .. 




Ferrous oxide (FeO) 




Manganous oxide (MnO) 




Lime (CaO) . . 

. . 0-50 



Magnesia (MgO) 




Potash (KjO) 




Soda (NagO) . . 




Titanium dioxide (TiOg) 




Phosphoric anhydride (P2O5) 




Loss at 100° C. 




Water and organic matter 







No. 1. Hornfels from Chasm Creek, above Westport-Cardifi Mine. 

No. 2. Hornfels from Chasm Creek, below Westport-Cardiff Mine. 

No. 3. Sheeny hornfels from inclusion in granite, near Buller Coalfield Eeserve 
boundary, Welcome Creek, Mokihinui. 

The sedimentary origin of each of the samples analysed is confirmed by the 
dominance of magnesia over lime and of potash over soda in each case. In all, 
moreover, especially No. 1, the alumina is greatly in excess of the 1 : 1 ratio 
necessary to satisfy the alkalies present. Thus the principal chemical criteria for 
distinguishing metamorphic sedimentary rocks are satisfied.f 

(4.) Schists. — Schistose argillite, greywacke, and hornfels occur in a number of 
places near great faults or granitic intrusions. In addition true mica-schist occurs to a 
limited extent in Hodges Creek, in the Upper Ngakawau Valley, and in New Creek. In 

* See N.Z.G.S. BuU. No. 1, pp. 47^8 ; BuU. No. 6, p. 98 ; Bull. No. 11, p. 13. Several sections of 
Mokihinui hornfels show minute prisms of rich brown tourmaline scattered through the biotite. 

■f Edson S. Bastin : " Chemical Composition as a Criterion in identifying Metamorphosed Sediments." 
Journal of Geology, vol. xvii, 1909, pp. 445-72, and vol. xxi, 1913, pp. 193-201. 


each of these localities the schist contains indefinite spots of a white mineral which is 
probably cordieiite. Webb has noted a similar rock as occurring in the Mount Radiant 
Subdivision.* Small bands of schistose rock, apparently of sedimentary origin, are not 
uncommon in several parts of the gneissic complex found in the northern part of Mount 
William Range and over a wide belt of country to the eastward.^ It has been found 
impossible to map these bands apart from the enclosing gneiss, but it is at least 
possible that they are remnants of a pre-Ordovician series, as tentatively suggested in 
Chapter III (page 59). 

It is not necessary to describe in detail the thermal and thermo-dynamic meta- 
morphism of portions of the Aorere rocks, the matter having been fully discussed in 
former bulletins. Reference, if desired, may be made to Bulletin No. 1, pages 64-65 ; 
Bulletin No. 6, pages 78-79 ; and Bulletin No. 11, page 13. Tlie one point requiring 
comment is that in the Westport district, as in North Westland, metamorphism was 
apparently not accompanied to any notable extent by the formation of valuable mineral 

Bituminous Coal-measures (Mawheranui or Waimangaroa Series). 

content and subdivision. 

The bituminous coal-measures of the BuUer-Mokihinui Subdivision consist of breccia, 
conglomerate, grit, sandstone, shale, and mudstone, together with a little limestone and 
the bituminous coal-seams to which they owe their economic importance. To the lowest 
member, which consists mainly of angular and subangular material, the name Hawk's 
Crag breccia has been given. Though locally of great thickness, the Hawk's Crag 
breccia has a restricted distribution, and nowhere, so far as known, does it actually 
underlie bituminous coal. Northward from the Buller Valley its relationships are 
obscure, though apparently it passes into an ordinary conglomerate. This latter rock 
near Mount Rochfort is of considerable thickness, but as a rule is not prominent 
elsewhere, and in places is absent. Above the horizon of the conglomerate comes a 
series of freshwater grits and coarse sandstones, alternating with shales and associated 
coal-seams. These strata, together with the underlying conglomerate, correspond to 
similar rocks near Greymouth, and in this bulletin, as in Bulletin No. 13, are called 
the Brunner beds. They are succeeded by the Kaiata beds, which are marine sediments 
consisting mainly of calcareous mudstone, with minor limestone, sandstone, and in one 
locality conglomerate. They correspond in character with the Kaiata mudstone near 
Greymouth, and in age with the same stratum plus the underlying Island sandstone. 
The following tabular statement shows the subdivisions of the bituminous coal-measures 
adopted in this bulletin. 



Estimated Thickness. 


Kaiata beds 

Brunner beds 

Hawk's Crag 

Calcareous mudstone ; calcareous 
sandstone ; limestone ; con- 
glomerate in minor amount 

Shales, sandstones, and grits with 
coal-seams ; conglomerate 

Breccia ; breccia - conglomerate ; 
conglomerate, grit, sandstone, 
and shale in minor amount 

1,000 ft. to 1,500 ft. 
Original thickness 

100 ft. to 500 ft. or 

3,000 ft. (?) 

Owing to denudation 
full thickness is not 
shown in any one 

Thickness decidedly 

Maximum possible 
thickness given ; 
actual thickness 
very variable. 

♦N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 11, 1910, p. 12. 

f Mr. Alexander McKay has verbally informed one of tlie writers that schist occiu's at Moran's Water- 
race, near Addison's. This, however, may be a biotitic band in granitic gneiss. Several such bauds, 
greatly resembling schist, occur near the locality (see p. 101). 



Although there is strong evidence that at some period prior to the deposition 
of the bituminous coal-measures the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision was part of a great 
peneplain, yet the characters of the Hawk's Crag breccia show that at the end of the 
Cretaceous, or at the beginning of the Tertiary, elevation of part of the land in or 
adjoining the subdivision had taken place. It is probable also that land extended for 
some, perhaps many, miles westward of the present coast-line. The peculiar conditions 
that gave rise to the Hawk's Crag breccia are discussed on other pages. The Brunner 
beds were deposited on a moderately level surface by a stream or streams that drained 
an area where granite and allied rocks predominated over sedimentaries. They are 
believed by the writers to be in great measure deltaic deposits formed in a shallow 
lake or lakes. The manner in which the coal-seams were formed will be discussed in 
Chapter VI. 

Whilst the Brunner beds were being laid down the land gradually subsided, and at 
last marine conditions almost imperceptibly supervened. Subsidence continued for a 
long time, during which the Kaiata beds were formed. Finally sedimentation was 
interrupted by a more or less pronounced uplift, which is considered to have taken 
place some little time before the beginning of the Miocene period. The exact nature 
of the land-movement and of the resulting unconformity is somewhat doubtful, but the 
matter is an important one, and therefore will be more fully discussed on a later page. 


It is well known that numerous controversies have arisen in connection with the 
ages of the various New Zealand coalfields. Although the questions involved are of the 
highest importance from all points of view, yet it is regrettable that so much energy has 
been expended on discussion, whilst comparatively little detailed stratigraphical work has 
been done, and palseontological research remains in a backward condition. Though 
progress in these matters is now being made, the time for authoritative general statements 
has not yet arrived. 

In 1861 von Haast tentatively assigned the bituminous coal-measures of the Westport 
district to the Oolite,* and at a later date was probably inclined to give them a 
Cretaceous age, but in deference to Hector's views decided to place them in the 
Cretaceo-Tertiary system.f Cox, in his reports published in 1877, did not definitely 
state the age of the bituminous coal-measures, although his sections show them to rest 
with a high degree of unconformity on rocks which he supposed to be of Triassic age. J 
Some years previously Hector had decided that the chief coal-bearing strata of New 
Zealand belonged to a Cretaceo-Tertiary system.§ Hutton, though it is said|| (apparently 
incorrectly) that he was the originator of the Cretaceo-Tertiary hypothesis, consistently 
opposed it, and from 1873 always assigned a Cretaceous age to the BuUer and Grey- 
mouth coal-measures.^ McKay has always agreed with Hector's classification. Park 
at one time supported the Cretaceo-Tertiary hypothesis, but for a number of years has 

* O-p. cit., pp. 105, 112. 

t " Geology of Canterbury and Westland," 1879, p. 298. 

% See G.S. Rep. No. 9, 1877, p. 17, and sections opposite p. 112. 

§ See " On the Remains of a Gigantic Penguin. . . ," Trans., vol. iv, 1872, pp. 344-45 ; G.S. Rep. 
during 1876-77, No. 10, 1877, p. iv of Progress Report ; &c. 

II Park I " The Supposed Cretaceo-Tertiary Succession of New Zealand." Geological Magazine, Dec. v, 
vol. ix, 1912, p. 491. Hector, however, claims the term " Cretaceo-Tertiary " as his own (Trans., vol. iv, 
1872, p. 344), and Hutton in 1873 mentions "the Cretaceo-Tertiary formation of Dr. Hector " (Q.J.G.S., 
vol. xxix, p. 378). So far as the writers can ascertain, the term " Cretaceo-Tertiary " was first used in 
connection with New Zealand geology by Hector in " Abstract Report on the Progress of the Geological Survey 
of New Zealand during 1866-67," 1867, p. 8. 

Tf " Synopsis of the Younger Formations of New Zealand." Q.J.G.S., vol. xxix, 1873, p. 377. See also 
" On the Relative Ages of the New Zealand Coalfields." Trans., vol. xxii, 1890, pp. 377-87. 


been disposed to agree with Hutton. His assignment of tlie bituminous coal-measures 
of the Westport district to his Waimangaroa Series, which he considers to be of upper 
Eocene age* marks a departure from Button's views in detail rather than in principle. 
Marshall places the Westport coal-measures in the Oamaru Series, and considers thera 
to be of Early Cainozoic age.f 

Though identifiable fossils are not plentiful in the bituminous coal-measures, yet the 
paleeontological data given on later pages justify the opinion that the Brunner and Kaiata 
beds are of Eocene age. In the case of the Hawk's Crag breccia there is some 
little uncertainty, conformity with the Brunner beds not being fully proved. Possibly 
the breccia is of Cretaceous age. One reason for thinking so is that it is intersected 
by lamprophyric dykes which apparently do not extend into the Brunner beds. More- 
over, in the Blackball district, Greymouth, lamprophyric pebbles are found in a 
conglomerate at the base of the Brunner beds. J 


There is no difficulty in correlating the Brunner and Kaiata beds with corresponding 
strata in the Greymouth district. It has been indicated, however, that the Island sand- 
stone of the Greymouth area has so small a development in the Buller-Mokihinui 
Subdivision that what there is of it is included in the Kaiata beds. 

The Hawk's Crag breccia extends southward for a few miles, but whether its exact 
equivalent can be found anywhere else is doubtful. With it McKay correlates a similar 
rock found in the Waitahu Valley near Reefton.§ It may be tentatively correlated 
with the Koiterangi and, Brunner conglomerates, which in some ways resemble it, and 
occur in a similar position with respect to the bituminous coal-seams. It is just 
possible that the Hawk's Cra.g breccia is contemporary with the basal conglomerate of 
the Paparoa beds,|| in which case a moderate unconformity separates it from the 
Brunner beds and a fresh comjjlication must be introduced into the geological history 
of the region. The Buller Series of Hector, supposed by him to be of Cretaceous age, 
is equivalent to the Brunner beds of this bulletin, together with the underlying Hawk's 
Crag breccia. The history of this term is given in the next section. 

As a whole the bituminous coal-measures of the Westport district may be correlated 
with similar strata found in the Pakawau district and other localities in west and 
central Nelson, but it does not appear advisable at the present time to advocate a 
correlation with any of the coalfields on the east coast of the South Island. 


In 1877 Hector definitely placed the chief coal-bearing formations of New Zealand 
near the base of his Cretaceo-Tertiary System, whilst the Amuri group, constituting 
his Lower Greensand formation, he classed as inferior.*[f In 1879, however, considering 
that the bituminous coals of the West Coast, conformable members of the Cretaceo- 
Tertiary sequence,** were probably of Lower Greensand age, he placed them in bis 
Lower Greensand formation below the Amuri group, an order to which he adhered in 

* " The Geology of New Zealand," 1910, pp. 101-107. 

t " Geology of Now Zealand," 1912, p. 190 ; " New Zealand and Adjacent Islands " (Handbuch der 
regionalen Geologie), 1912, pp. 27, 40, 67. 

J N.Z.G.S. BuU. No. 13, 1911, p. 58. 

§ " On the Geology of the Recfton District, Inangahua County." Rep. G.S. dviring 1882, No. 15, 1883, 
p. 143. 

II See N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 13, 1911, pp. 50, 51, 86, &c. 

i[ G.S. Rop. during 1876-77, No. 10, 1877, p. iv of Progress Report. See Progress Reports in G.S. Rop. 
Nos. 8 and 9 for earlier references to the (Jrotaoeo-Tertiary Sy.stem. Still earlier references have already 
been given. 

♦* " Handbook of New Zealand " (Sydney International Exhibition), 1879, pp. 21 22, 


1884.* In 1881t''''andl 1886J Hector, so far as can be gathered from his published 
classifications, reversed this order and placed the bituminous coals and associated sand- 
stones, grits, and conglomerates, which in 1884 he had designated the Buller Series, 
again above the Amuri Series. 

Meanwhile, in 1885,§ McKay, following Hector's classification of 1884, correlated 
his " woodsands " of the Amuri Bluff district, which underlie the Amuri Series, with 
Hector's Buller Series, and in 1890|| maintained this correlation despite Hector's 
reversal of the relative positions of the two series in his table of formations of 1886. 
Probably by reason of this confusion the name " Buller Series," originally applied to 
the bituminous coals of the West Coast, with their associated sandstones, grits, and 
conglomerates, dropped out of use after 1890. 

In 1910 Park proposed the name " Waimangaroa Series," to include the whole 
of the bituminous coal-measures, the term being, he considered, appropriate both from 
the standpoint of the miner and of the geologist.^ In the Greymouth district, however, 
the bituminous coal-measures are more fully and typically developed than in the 
Westport district, and therefore in 1911 one of the present writers suggested the name 
of " Mawheranui Series,"** derived from the Maori name for the Grey River. In this 
bulletin the somewhat awkward term of "bituminous coal-measures" is used, so as to 
leave the way open for a settlement of the question of nomenclature by a conference 
of New Zealand workers in geology, 


The bituminous coal-measures outcrop irregularly over a belt of country about 
thirty-two miles in length with a maximum width of ten miles, which extends from 
somewhat north of the Mokihinui River to the south-east corner of the subdivision. 
They cover in all about 137 square miles, but a considerable portion of this area 
does not carry coal, and of the remainder only twelve square mUes has been definitely 
proved to contain workable coal. Future exploration, however, may be expected to 
add appreciably to the latter estimate. As will be observed from the maps, inliers of 
older rocks appear in many places, and there are also various outliers of the coal- 
measures themselves, especially in the Mackley Valley. South of Mount Rochfort 
denudation has almost entirely removed the coal-bearing portion of the measures, so 
that the outcrops are mainly barren Hawk's Crag breccia. An isolated outcrop of 
bituminous coal appears at Moran's Water-race, near Addison's, but southward of this 
the coal-bearing beds are not again seen on the western slope of the Paparoa Range 
until a point in the Fox River watershed three or four miles beyond the southern 
boundary of the subdivision is reached. 

Bituminous coal-measures underlie Miocene rocks in part of the area that lies 
seaward of the Kongahu fault, but their extent can be ascertained only by the costly 
process of boring. They also underlie Miocene strata in two comparatively small areas, 
one north of the Mokihinui River and the other in the Mackley watershed. In neither 
of these localities is the presence of workable coal more than a possibility. 


The bituminous coal-measures are much affected by faulting, warping, and tilting, 
but are nowhere folded with any degree of regularity. Their more important structural 

* G.S. Rep. during 1883-84, No. 16, 1884, p. xiv of Progress Report. 
t G.S. Rep. during 1879-80, No. 13, 1881, pp. iii-iv of Progress Report. 

J " Indian and Colonial Exhibition, London, 1886, New Zealand Court : Detailed Catalogue and Guide 
to the Geological Exhibits," p. 39. 

§ G.S. Rep. during 1885, No. 17, 1886, p. 68. 
II G.S. Rep. during 1888-89, No. 20, 1890, p. 146. 
^ " The Geology of New Zealand," 1910, p. 107. 
** N.Z.G.S. BuU. No. 13, 1911, pp. 53-54. 




features are connected with the formation of the Paparoa-Papahaua earth-block, which 
has already been somewhat fully described (see pages 48-9). Thus the main coal-bearing 
area — namely, that extending from Mount Rochfort to the Mokihinui River — is an 
uplifted block, tilted to the east, and as a whole pitching to the north. There are, 
however, many minor warps and other irregularities in the block. For example, from 
Mount Rochfort, which may be regarded as the summit of an uusymmetrical dome, 
there is a pitch to the southward, and also a pitch to the northward as far as Denniston. 
Beyond the Waimangaroa River the pitch is reversed, so that the coal-measures rise 
till the summit of Mount Frederick (3,621 ft.) is reached. From Mount Augustus, two 
miles to the north of Frederick, the pitch of the block is again northerly. A domal 
structure appears at the gorge of the Ngakawau River, the summit of the dome being 
at trig, station AN (1,728 ft.). Charming Creek valley is an area of structural 
depression, east of which is another domal area, the summit of which is marked by 
trig, station AR (1,445 ft.), whilst to the north is a ridge, beyond which a northerly 
pitch is resumed. Thus at the Mokihinui River the bituminous coal-measures, as in 
Charming Creek valley, reach sea-level, and disappear beneath a cover of Miocene 

Along the western margin of the Papahaua block it will be observed that from 
Wright or Coal Creek to Stony Creek, north of Waimangaroa, the coal-measures have 
a varying westerly dip, which reaches 90° near the Kongahu fault zone. From Stony Creek 
to Granity no westerly-dipping beds are visible, denudation having removed those that 
may once have existed on the extremely steep western slopes of Mounts Frederick 
and Augustus. From Granity to Ngakawau westerly-dipping beds, more or less involved 
in the Kongahu fault, again appear. 

Towards the east the dip of the Papahaua block in that direction is interrupted 
by the relative uplift due to the Mount William fault. On the crest of the Mount 
William Range the remnants of the coal-measures pitch alternately north and south, 
following the surface relief, whilst the outliers on the eastern side of the range dip 
more or less with the slopes. Mount Stockton (2,451 ft.) is a gneissic dome from 
which the coal-measures have been removed by erosion. Viewed broadly, it is a con- 
tinuation of the Mount William Range, and the domed area near trig, station AN 
perhaps comes into the same category. The gneissic ridges on which trig, stations 
AS and AD are situated also represent areas of elevation from which the coal-measures 
have been eroded. 

The somewhat irregular attitude of the bituminous coal-measures indicated by the 
gently dipping remnants between the northern part of the Mount William Range and 
the Blackburn does not need detailed description. A similar moderately irregular or 
undulating structure appears in the Blackburn area itself and in the Mackley watershed 
to the south. As the great Glasgow fault is approached the coal-measures dip with 
considerable uniformity towards it, and thus the higher or Kaiata beds make their 
appearance near the fault, and cover to a considerable depth the Brunner beds, together 
with any coal-seam that may be present. 

In the Buller Gorge and in the valley of the Blackwater the Hawk's Crag breccia 
has a strike varying from west-north-west to north-north-east. Except at the head 
of Nada Creek, where a north-easterly dip is seen, the dip is westerly or south-westerly, 
and generally between 15° and 25°, though in places near faults it may reach 50° or 
60°. It is noteworthy that along the Tiroroa reach of the Buller the strike is west- 
north-west, parallel to the river, whilst elsewhere the strike generally approaches within 
30° of the meridian. The chief faults traversing the breccia have upthrow to the 
westward or south-westward, so that the effect of dip in those directions is more than 


Some of the numerous faults that traverse the coal-measures have been described 
in Chapter IV, and others will be mentioned in that part of Chapter VI which deals 
with bituminous coal. 


The bituminous coal-measures, as shown in the table on page 71, have been sub- 
divided into three groups— (1) Hawk's Crag breccia; (2) Brunner beds; and (3) Kaiata 
beds. These will be separately described in order of age. 

(1.) HaivliS Crag Breccia. 
The Hawk's Crag breccia consists of an immense thickness of angular and sub- 
angular blocks of varying size, the interspaces filled with finer material, and the whole 
cemented by a ferruginous paste, through the oxidation of which the breccia acquires 
a characteristic reddish or purplish colour. In a few places there are layers which 
approach conglomerate and there are also minor bands of shale and sandstone. The 
angular blocks, as a rule, are under 1 ft. in diameter, but in several localities huge 
boulders are conspicuous. Bast of Little Hawk's Crag, where the breccia is first seen 
by travellers from Westport, comparatively small blocks, mostly under 5 in. in diameter, 
of more or less schistose greywacke, argUlite, and allied rocks, form the bulk of the 
rock. A little farther to the east, near the tunnels through which the Buller Gorge 
road passes, large boulders may be seen in the outcrop on the river-bank. Hereabouts 
some granite appears in the breccia, and becomes plentiful a few chains to the east- 
ward. From Tiroroa (Twelve-mUe) to Hawk's Crag there is usually a considerable 
proportion of granite in the breccia. Some distance to the east of Tiroroa enormous 
boulders are present. In Hawk's Crag itself and in the lower part of Hawk's Crag 
Creek granite is not by any means prominent, but towards the head of the creek rapidly 
becomes plentiful, and in one place forms nearly the whole of the breccia. The other 
rocks represented in the breccia of Hawk's Crag Creek are greywacke, argUlite, hornfels, 
and schist of various kinds. In the Blackwater River and its tributaries granite generally 
forms from one-third to one-half of the breccia, most of the large boulders being of 
that rock, especially in the more southerly exposures. Other constituents are those 
mentioned above as occurring in Hawk's Crag Creek. 

Material that may be described as breccia-conglomerate is prominent in the middle 
part of Blackwater River and its tributary Nada Creek. It passes into an ordinary 
conglomerate in which grit, sandstone, and even shale bands may be observed. In 
places it is difficult to determine whether Miocene beds are or are not present, for 
there is no reliable criterion by which they may be distinguished from the very similar 
Eocene rocks. 

Origin. — In some respects the Hawk's Crag breccia resembles a morainic deposit, 
and McKay, when dealing with the geology of the Inangahua district, has therefore 
suggested a glacial origin.* The chief evidence for this view is afforded by the presence 
of angular material of all sizes. The very abundance of these angular blocks, however, 
considered in conjunction with the entire absence of rounded pebbles in some places, 
and the comparative scarcity of fine material, in itself gives rise to a difficulty in 
accepting the view that they have been transported by ice. Nowhere has the breccia 
the appearance of typical glacial drift, and nowhere can striated pebbles or fluvio- 
glacial gravel be found. Thus the chief criteria for glacial deposits are not applicable 
to the case under consideration. The breccia, however, does possess many of the 

* " On the Geology of the Reefton District, Inangahua County." G.S. Rep. during 1882, No. 15, 1883, 
pp. 142^. 


features of a pluvial deposit,* and this, with the addition of more or less true talus, 
it is considered to be. In particular, the rapid change in composition observable at 
various places is characteristic of talus or pluvial rather than of fluviatile or glacial 
deposits, and proves the local origin of the chief constituents. In order to account for 
the abundance of small angular fragments it must be supposed that they have been 
derived from zones of crushed rock, which were probably due to great faulting move- 
ments immediately previous to the formation of the breccia. 

Rocks that strongly resemble the Hawk's Crag breccia have a great development 
in the Brighton and Waiwhero survey districts, south of the subdivision, and also occur 
near the head of Boatman's Creek and in the Waitahu Valley. These occurrences will 
be described in the forthcoming Reefton bulletin (No. 18). 

(2.) Brunner Beds. 

The Brunner beds consist of conglomerate, grit, sandstone, and shale, with coal- 
seams. They are considered to be entirely of fresh-water origin, but it should be 
noted that in places a coarse sandstone not far above the coal may possibly be marine. 
The lowest stratum, the conglomerate, is not everywhere present, and in many places 
is of no great thickness : thus lenticularity, as is usually the case with deposits formed 
mainly of coarse material, is a conspicuous feature. The conglomerate has its greatest 
development south of Mount Rochfort, where the thickness is some hundreds of feet. 
The upper layers contain much quartz, but in the lowest horizon pebbles of other rocks 
are plentiful. Towards the BuUer the Rochfort conglomerate is supposed to pass into 
the Hawk's Crag breccia, but this is somewhat doubtful, and possibly it rests upon 
the breccia with some degree of unconformity. Conglomerate has a moderate develop- 
ment on the western slopes of Mount Rochfort, but is almost or quite absent near 
Burnett's Face, Mount William, and Mount Frederick. It is again present in Fly 
Creek and in most localities to the northward as far as Mokihinui River. In Charming 
Creek valley diamond drilling has proved from 3 ft. to 64 ft. of conglomerate, whUst 
near Mokihinui Mine at least 50 ft. of quartzose conglomerate is exposed, and a similar 
rock is also seen at various spots between the northern part of Mount William Range 
and the Blackburn Stream. 

Quartz predominates among the pebbles in the conglomerates of the Brunner beds, 
with greywacke and granite next in order of abundance. Other constituents are horn- 
fels, argillite, gneiss, and schist. 

More uniformly distributed than the conglomerate are the grits, which usually 
appear both above and below the main coal-seam. The lower grits are usually notice- 
ably coarser in grain than the upper grits, and this feature may to some extent be used 
in distinguishing the two horizons. It is not an infallible criterion, however, for fine 
grit occasionally appears below the coal, and not infrequently coarse grit is found in 
the upper horizon. Again, in places coal may be quite absent, and in that case the 
appearance of the grits is no guide to the locus of the coal horizon. The thickness of 
the grits, both above and below the main coal-seam varies greatly. In a few places 
there is no grit below the coal, and in Coal Creek, near Mokihinui Mine, there is only 
a foot or two of grit above the coal. In various localties, particuhirly where there is little 
or no coal, cliffs of grit 100 ft. or more in height appear. These frequently show 
current bedding to a remarkable extent. 

* Pluvial dopo.sit,s aro defined by Arthur C. Trowbridge ay " those transported by rain-wator or ininiodiate 
run-ofi, without the agency of permanent streams." See " A Classification of Common Sediments and some 
Criteria for Identification of the various Classes " : Tlie Journal of Geology, vol. xxii, No. 4, May-.Iimo, 1014, 
p. 421. See al.-so pp. 425-27, and especially illustrations on p. 42(5. 


The quartz grains of which the grits are almost entirely formed have probably 
been derived mainly from areas of granite, gneiss, and quartz-porphyry. The remaining 
constituents are a few scales of mica together with scattered fragments of feldspar and 
other minerals. As a rule the feldspar is intermixed with quartz, and evidently 
derived from granite or gneiss. 

By decrease in the size of the constituent grains the grits pass both vertically and 
laterally into sandstones, which are seldom of any great thickness. Interbedded with 
the grits and sandstones are moderately persistent bands of shale, which in many cases 
are associated with coal-seams. Some shaly beds laterally pass into or are replaced 
wholly or partly by coal, whilst others through increasing coarseness of the constituents 
grade into sandstone, and finally into grit. The variability and especially the lenticular 
character of the rocks included in the Brunner beds are indeed remarkable features. 
This statement applies also to the coal-seams, as will be perceived from a perusal of 
the next chapter. 

(3.) Kaiata Beds. 

The Kaiata beds consist almost entirely of a dark-coloured marine mudstone or 
claystone, which is everywhere calcareous, and usually, especially in the lower horizons, 
more or less sandy and micaceous. The lowest portion in places passes on the one 
hand into a fine-grained sandstone, and on the other into a limestone. Calcareous 
concretionary nodules are of common occurrence. Where, through overlap, the Kaiata 
beds are resting on pre-Tertiary rocks, a little grit or conglomerate may form the basal 
layer. In one exceptional locality — Waimangaroa — layers of conglomerate, grit, and 
sandstone are interbedded with the typical mudstone.* 

Owing to denudation during pre-Miocene and again during Quaternary times, it is 
not possible to determine the original thickness of the Kaiata beds. If, however, it 
were true that no unconformity separated the bituminous coal-measures from the , 
Miocene, the full thickness would appear in the area north of the Mokihinui, where 
the Kaiata rocks disappear under Miocene strata. ■ Unfortunately, the structure in this 
locality is so irregular that no trustworthy estimate can be made, and all that can 
be said is that the thickness of the beds is probably over 1,000 ft. and under 1,500 ft. 
What is possibly a full section is again exposed on the Denniston Road east of 
Waimangaroa, where a thickness of from 1,000 ft. to 1,200 ft. is indicated. Faulting, 
however, here introduces an unknown factor. 

The distribution of the Kaiata beds is determined by the general structure of the 
Papahaua sub-block. Owing to the soft nature of the mudstone which forms the 
chief member, denudation has removed them from the higher levels, and therefore they 
appear only in the downwarped portions of the block and in isolated patches along 
its faulted western margin. Thus the Kaiata beds are largely developed on both sides 
of the Mokihinui River near Seddonville, whence they extend along the western side 
of the Glasgow fault to the south of the Mackley. Here they apparently thin out 
against a pre-Tertiary land surface, either through overlap or by pre-Miocene denuda- 
tion. A minor extension passes under Miocene rocks, but even this undoubtedly thins 
out to the southward. A belt of Kaiata mudstone somewhat over five miles long 
and about a quarter of a mile in average width is found along the western margin of 
the Mount William fault from a point west or north-west of trig. AE to the head of 
Cascade Creek. Other developments of Kaiata rocks are in the western part of the 
structural depression occupied by Charming Creek, and in three narrow separated belts 
more or less involved in the Lower Buller fault (1) between Ngakawau and Granity, (2) 
from Stony Creek to Whareatea River, and (3) in Deadman Creek. 

* The Kaiata mudstone in Deadman Greet contains one or two pebbly bands. In Bradley Creek (north 
of Granity) and near Ngakawau (see fig. 8) interbedded grit and sandstone occur. 

Plate XVI. 

Entrance to a Tunnel, Westpoht-Stockton Mine. The View shows a Coal-sbau ovehlain 

BY Sandstone and Grit. 

Coal Outcrop in C Section of Westi-ort-Stockton Company's Lease. 
Gc.ol. Bull. No. 17.} [To face page 7S. 


As already stated, calcareous mudstone is tlie prevailing rock in the Kaiata beds, 
and its general nature has already been indicated. As a rule its stratification is 
obscure, but it has perhaps a slightly greater tendency to show bedding than the 
corresponding mudstone near Greymouth, from which, however, it differs in no important 
feature. No analysis of the Buller-Mokihinui mudstones is available, but reference to 
the analysis of Kaiata mudstone, quoted in Bulletin No. 13 (page 95), may be made. 

Dark-coloured micaceous sandstone, moderately fossiliferous, occurs to a limited 
extent south of Mokihinui Mine, in the Mackley Valley south-east of trig. J, and in 
a few other places. The hard gritty sandstone seen in the lower portions of St. Andrew 
and St. David streams may belong either to the lower horizon of the Kaiata beds or 
to the upper part of the Brunner beds. On the east side of Mount Berners (trig. AD), 
near the Mokihinui-Lyell track, a dark sandstone, highly calcareous from the remains 
of Lithothamnion or allied alga, outcrops. A similar rock, approaching arenaceous 
limestone, appears in St. David Stream, whilst in St. Andrew Stream not far from 
the Glasgow fault a stratum of argillaceous limestone is visible. In a small area near 
the head of Fletcher Brook is an almost pure limestone, composed mainly of the 
remains of calcareous algse. An analysis of this rock is given on page 128. 

The coarse-grained rocks already mentioned as interbedded with mudstone near 
Waimangaroa require some further mention. They are best seen on the Denniston 
Road about three-quarters of a mile south-east of Waimangaroa Junction railway- 
station, where a quarry has been opened in a bed of conglomerate about 36 ft. thick, 
which has a strike of 236° and a dip approaching 90°. This is succeeded in downward 
order to the eastward by a few feet of alternating grit and comglomerate, which give 
place to sandy mudstone. This continues for some distance, but contains one layer of 
conglomerate, besides a few minor pebble bands, sandy layers, and isolated stones. 
Some 8 or 10 chains from the main conglomerate band a layer of grit and sandstone 
20 ft. or more in thickness is visible, and this is followed by ordinary Kaiata mud- 
stone. The main conglomerate band first mentioned persists to the north or north- 
north-east, and is again seen on the north bank of the Waimangaroa River, at a point 
where the stream makes a strong bend. Here it strikes 200°, and dips 6S° to the 

No satisfactory explanation of the presence of conglomerate in an upper horizon of 
the Kaiata beds can be given. It seems more likely that the constituent pebbles, 
consisting of granite, schist, gneiss, carbonaceous argillite, greywacke, and quartz, came 
from the west than from any other direction. In that case the presence of more or 
less elevated land in that direction during the Eocene must be assumed, a supposition 
which is not favourable to the seaward extension of the Buller coalfield. 



The shaly layers of the Brunner beds in some places exhibit plant-remains, the 
most prominent of which are impressions of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous leaves. 

As a rule these are not well preserved, and are rarely even generically identifiable. 
The best locality for leaf-impressions observed during the course of the survey is 
about half a mile south-west of Seddonville railway-station, at the entrance to some 
old workings of the Westport - Cardiff Coal Company. Here, in a shale forming the 
roof of a 10 ft. coal-seam, Cinnamomum sp. (probably also found at Brunner) and 
Aralia{'^:) sp. were noted. On the Yellow Silvei--pine Exploration Company's tram south 
of Chasm Creek dicotyledono\is leaves, probably of Faqvs, occur in a dark sandstone 
(base of Kaiata beds) associated with marine fossils. Leaf-impressions and other plant- 


remains (mainly fucoid casts) are not uncommon in the lower horizon of the Kaiata 
beds, but are rarely generically recognizable. Owing to the general poorness of the 
fossil vegetation and the lack of authoritative descriptive literature no serious attempt 
was made to collect plant-remains, and all that can be said is that the fossil leaves 
of the Brunner and Kaiata beds bear a general resemblance to those found in the 
Brunner horizon near Greymouth. 

The limestones of Fletcher Brook and St. David Stream, together with the 
calcareous sandstone east of Mount Berners, aboimd, as already mentioned, in the 
remains of algae, which probabty represent one or more species of LitJiothamnion. 


The Kaiata beds in a number of places yield a somewhat scanty marine fauna, 
the individuals of which are generally in a poor state of preservation. The following 
list contains all identifications made to date. Except where there is a statement to 
the contrary, the fossils mentioned were collected by one or other of the writers. Most 
of the molluscan determinations are by Mr. Henry Suter. 


Foraminifera are not uncommon throughout the argillaceous and calcareous members 
of the Kaiata beds. Sections of the Fletcher Creek limestone show the presence of 
several species. One of these belongs to the NummuUnidoB, and appears to be closely 
allied to AmfMstegina. The test, however, is strongly inequilateral, and therefore 
suggests Hemistegina 

A few individuals with diameters of about J^ in, were extracted from the Kaiata 
mudstone in Tobin Creek valley and Chasm Creek. These were sent for examination 
to Mr. F. Chapman, of Melbourne, who, however, has not yet reported upon them. 

One or more species of Flabellum occurs in the Kaiata mudstones of Chasm and 
Kiwi creeks. Fragments of a small madreporarian coral occur in the Fletcher Brook 


Remains of sea-urchins are fairly abundant in Tobin Creek and Chasm Creek 
valleys. Among these a species of Schizaster (cp. S. exoletus Hutton) may be identi- 
fied. Mr. Sydney Fry, in a verbal communication, has stated that Kleinia conjuncta 
Hutton occurs in the valley of Mine Creek, near Ngakawau. 


Ostrea (Eostrea) wuellerstorfii Zittel. Occurs in dark sandstone. Yellow Silver-pine 
Exploration Company's tram, south of Chasm Creek. A very large specimen, con 
sisting of an accumulation of left valves, in the Geological Survey collections, is 
recorded as collected by Hector in 1871 between the Ngakawau and Mokihinui rivers 
(Loc. 281). Possibly the same species occurs in the Mackley River, about 35 chains 
south-east of trig. J. Here and near Chasm Creek the horizon is at the base of the 
marine beds. 

Ostrea nelsoniana Zittel. Yellow Silver-pine Exploration Company's tram, south of 
Chasm Creek. 

Ostrea sp. n.d. Blackburn River. 

Cox* and Dennistonf report micaceous sandstone with fossil oysters in the Black- 
burn Valley, which they call Tio or Orikaka Valley, the latter name being an error. 

* " Report on Survey of BuUer Coalfield." Rep. G.S. during 1874-76, No. 9, 1877, pp. 116, 117. 
f " Detailed Notes on the BuUer Coalfield." Op. cit., p. 169, 


This may be the same occurrence as that mentioned by McKay* in the words '' From 
grits outcropping farther to the south of Chasm Creek Mr. Denniston collected a 
large oyster, Ostrea carbonacea (Hector MS.)." 

Pecten hochstetteri Zittel. In lowest horizon of Kaiata beds between Burnett's Face 
and Kiwi Compressor (on western boundary of Ngakawau Survey District). 

Pecten (Amusium) zitteli Hutton . Mackley River south-east of trig. J ; Tobir 
Creek Valley ; Mokihinui River above Seddonville ; Chasm Creek (recorded by McKay) 

Pecten (Ohlamys) williamsoni Zittel. Mackley River south-east of trig. J, in low 
horizon of Kaiata beds. 

Pecten fiscJieri. Reported by Cox in black marls (Kaiata mudstone). 

Pecten sp. n.d. St. Andrew Creek (a small specimen). 

Melina zealandica (Hutton) Suter. Tram-line south of Chasm Creek. 

Trigonia sp. (?). Tram-line south of Chasm Creek (a fragment). 

Pholadomya neozelanica Hutton. Mackley River south-east of trig. J. 

Mactra sp. (young) (?). Mackley River south-east of trig. J. 

Ghione sp. (?). Mackley River, south-east of trig. J. 

Cardium hrunneri Hector. In lowest horizon of Kaiata beds between Burnett's 
Face and Kiwi Compressor. 

Cardium sp. (?). What is apparently a small Cardium occurs in the Mackley River 
south-east of trig. J. It may be the same as a Cardium occurring] in the Greymouth 
district near Runanga and at the Ten-mile Creek (See Bulletin No. 13, page 61). 
McKay states that Denniston collected a species of Cardium south of Chasm Creek 
(? Blackburn Valley).f Cardium may also occur in Mine Creek, near Ngakawau 
(verbal communication from Mr. S. Fry). 

Lima (Limatula) hullata (Born.). Tobin Creek Valley. A Recent species. 

Teredo sp. Teredo-bored material (once wood) was collected from a mudstone 
face in Chasm Creek a short distance below Tate Creek junction. 

Dentalium sp. A small species of Dentalium occurs in the Mackley River south- 
east of trig. J. It is probably the same as that recorded in Bull. No. 13 (page 62) 
as found near Brunner and at the Nine-mile Bluff in Island sandstone. 


Turritella pagoda Reeve. Tram-line south of Chasm Creek. A Recent species. 

Turritella sp. McKay records from the neighbourhood of Chasm Creek " a small 
species of Turritella, resembling that founds in the roof of the coal at Whangarei."J 

Turritella sp. (cp. ambulacrum Sowerby). Mackley River south-east of trig. J. 

Scalaria (?) sp. n.d. Cox records Scalaria as occurring in the " black marls." 
This is probably one of the species of Turritella mentioned above. 

Calcareous remains doubtfully referred to a small crustacean are not uncommon 
in the Kaiata mudstone in ^the valleys of Tobin, Chasm, and St. Andrew creeks. 

The marine fossils of the Kaiata beds undoubtedly indicate a Tertiary age for the 
bituminous coal-measures. They show no affinities with the fauna of the Amuri Bluff 

* " On the Mokihinui Coal Company's Property." Rep. G.S. during 1890-91, No. 21, 1892, p. 88. 
t Op. cit., p. 88. 
X Op. cit., p. 88. 

6 — Buller-Mokihinui. 


and other Cretaceous localities, and therefore the correlation of the Buller Series with 
some of the lower beds at Amuri Bluff may be definitely dismissed. The fossils, so 
far identified do not perhaps clearly indicate to what period of the Tertiary the 
bituminous coal-measures ought to be referred, but their position — probably an uncon- 
formable one — below Miocene strata and the paucity of Recent species justify their 
assignation to the Eocene. 

Oamaru Series. 

content and subdivision. 

Above the bituminous coal-measures as defined in the last section comes a series 
of conglomerates, grits, sandstones, limestones, claystones, and other rocks, which are- 
regarded as being of Miocene age, and as approximately equivalent to the Oamaru 
System of Hutton. The total thickness of these beds cannot be exactly estimated, 
but probably exceeds 3,000 ft. They may be subdivided as follows : — 

(3.) Upper Beds: Claystone and sandstone. Thickness, 1,200ft. to 2,000ft. or 

(2.) Middle Beds : Limestone, claystone, and sandstone. Thickness, 300 ft. to 

600 ft. 
(1.) Lower Beds : Sandstone, grit, shale, and conglomerate, with seams of 
brown coal and lignite. Thickness, 50 ft. or less to 500 ft. or more. 

This three-fold division of the Oamaru Series, a course previously followed in 
Bulletin No. 3 (Parapara) appears to be the most suitable for the west coast of the 
South Island. Its value as a classification depends largely upon the validity of the 
assumption that the limestone generally present is everywhere in approximately the 
one horizon, and marks the period when the depth of the Miocene sea in the area 
of deposition was at its maximum. The palseontological data obtained seem to justify 
this assumption (see later pages). 


After the Eocene there was considerable elevation of the land, but this was 
speedily followed by long-continued depression lasting throughout the Miocene. In some 
parts of New Zealand Oligocene and Miocene strata may well have succeeded Eocene 
rocks without any unconformity, but so far as can be ascertained this was 
not the case on the west coast of the South Island.* Thus the lowest portions of 
the Oamaru Series in the Westport district are found to have been deposited by 
fluviatile agencies upon a sinking land-surface which was by no means level, and 
composed in some places of Eocene coal-measures, in others of pre-Tertiary rocks. As 
depression continued the sea invaded the land, and deposition of the marine sediments 
that form the middle and upper beds followed. Littoral and estuarine conditions, 
however, were prevalent, as is shown by the predominance of sandstone, together with 
grit or pebble bands, in most horizons. The impure nature of the limestone in various 
localities, and the overlap of the higher beds on the pre-existing land-surface, also 
indicate shallow-water sedimentation. 

After the period of limestone-formation, deposition began to overtake depression, so 
that shallow-water and littoral conditions became increasingly prominent towards the 
close of the Miocene. There are a few pebbly layers in the Upper Oamaru beds of the 
subdivision, but the fluviatile Moutere or Old Man gravels, which in the Greymouth 
district conformably succeed the marine Blue Bottom, are not represented. 

* P. G. Morgan : " Unconformities in the Stratified Rocks of the West Coast of the South Island." Trans, 
vol. xlvi, 1914, pp. 270-278. 



As shown on another page under the head of " Palaeontology," the Oamaru rocks of 
the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision contain a typical, though not varied, assortment of 
Miocene fossils. There is, however, room for a strong suspicion that the lowest beds 
approximately correspond in age with the Oligocene of Europe. Correlation with 
Oamaru rocks in other parts of New Zealand may also be based on stratigraphical and 
lithological grounds. Thus the Oamaru Series of the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision is 
continuous with Webb's Kongahu Series.* Its upper claystones and sandstones corre- 
spond to the upper Kongahu Formation, whilst the middle and lower beds are 
approximately contemporaneous with the lower Kongahu Formation, with the. exception 
that the lowest horizon is apparently not represented in the Mount Radiant Subdivision. 
The Oamaru Series as developed in the Westport district may also be closely correlated 
with the similarly named rocks in the Parapara district described in Bulletin No. 3, 
and with the Greymouth Series of Bulletin No. 13. The lower beds correspond to the 
Omotumotu beds of Bulletin No. 13 ; the middle beds to the Port Elizabeth beds and 
the Cobden limestone ; the upper beds to the Blue Bottom Formation. 

It is more or less feasible to make a correlation between the various subdivisions 
of the Oamaru Series on the west coast of the South Island and the subdivisions 
adopted for the same series as developed on the eastern side. For example, the lower 
beds may be correlated with the strata containing the brown coal of the Mount Somers, 
Oamaru, and Green Island districts ; the middle claystone and limestone with the 
Waihao beds and the Oamaru stone ; the upper claystone and sandstone with the 
Awamoa beds, and probably with the typical Pareora beds. 


Oamaru rocks cover a considerable area north of the Mokihinui River, whence, as 
already mentioned, they extend into the Karamea district. An apparently isolated 
coastal strip which has its centre near Gentle Annie Point is continued south of the 
Mokihinui by a much larger area that reaches to within three miles of the Ngakawau 
River. The gravels and sands of the coastal region north and south of Westport 
are almost everywhere underlain at small or moderate depths by Miocene rocks, of 
which various outcrops are seen near the foot of the Papahaua Range between the 
Waimangaroa and Buller rivers. There is also an isolated exposure near Fairdown. 
West and south of the Buller outcrops are seen near Bradshaw's, and more especially 
in the deep stream valleys near the foot of the Paparoa Range. An excellent section 
is exhibited by the cliffs near Cape Foulwind, whilst south of Addison's numerous 
and almost uninterrupted outcrops extend to the southern boundary of the subdivision. 
At Cape Foulwind, however, and along the coast from Charleston southwards, granite 
or gneiss forms the surface, the once-overlying Miocene rocks having been removed 
by denudation. A great development of the Oamaru Series on the eastern side of the 
Paparoa-Papahaua earth-block occupies practically the whole of the Inangahua grdben ; 
but the only portions of this within the subdivision are the south-east part of 
Orikaka Survey District and the eastern part of Ohika Survey District. 

In all, about 63J square miles are indicated on the maps as occupied by Miocene 
strata. To this area- may be added nearly all those portions of the coastal plain 
shown as covered by Quaternary gravels and sands. 

The Miocene rocks of the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision are characterized by an 
undulating structure, unaccompanied by any regular folding. They usually exhibit gentle 

♦N.Z.G.S. BuU. No. 11, 1910, pp. 16 et aeq. 
6*— Buller-Mokihinui. 


dips, but near the more important faults may assume an almost or quite vertical 
position. The exposures north of the Mokihinui River show very commonly a 
moderate dip to the north-north-east, the result of the northward pitch of the Papahaua 
block. Towards the Glasgow fault a gentle south-south-east dip predominates. Along 
the coast, near Gentle Annie and Kongahu points, involvement in the Lower Buller fault 
gives rise to steep dips, most of which hade towards the south-south-east. 

South of the Mokihinui, in the area traversed by Brewery and other creeks, the 
influence of the Lower Buller fault-zone is shown by steep dips, usually to the seaward. 
At the head of Brewery and Patten creeks an anticlinal structure, complicated by 
faulting, produces a strong dip to the eastward. The patches of Oamaru rocks near 
Waimangaroa are similarly involved in the Lower Buller fault, and have a general 
westerly dip of 26° to 85°. South of Fairdown as far as the Buller River the 
observable dips are moderate, varying from almost nothing to 11°. Near the Lower 
Buller fault, however, steeper dips must prevail, but could not be detected, owing to 
the lack of visible stratification in the few outcrops seen. 

Some of the cores from the Sergeant's Hill bore (see page 186) show dips of from 5° 
to 10°. Although the direction of dip is necessarily unknown, the assumption that 
it is to the south of east in conformity with the observed tilt of the Westport block 
may be made. 

The numerous outcrops of Oamaru rocks in Steeples and Waitakere survey districts 
in general have the gentle dip to the south-south-east that results from the tilting of 
the Westport block in that direction. This is well seen in the cliffs east of Cape 
Foulwind. Probably the Miocene strata masked by the gravels of the coastal plain 
between Westport and Waimangaroa have a similar easterly dip. Near the Lower 
Buller fault various high dips, most of them westerly, may be observed. 

The large area of Oamaru rocks that occupies the eastern part of Ohika Survey 
District and extends through Inangahua Survey District into the south-east of Orikaka 
is part of the Paparoa-Papahaua earth-block, which, as explained in Chapters III 
and IV, has on the whole an easterly tilt. The Miocene rocks, however, instead of 
dipping in that direction, as might be expected, as a rule have westerly dips of 
10° to 45°, and even more near faults. Such dips are seen in the Buller Gorge and 
in the valleys of Berlin, Nada, Pensini, and New creeks. On the other hand, the 
limestone of the ridge forming the eastern boundary of Ohika Survey District near 
Berlin's BlufE shows a gentle easterly dip. The anomalous attitude of the Miocene rocks 
in eastern Ohika and Orikaka survey districts is due to faults (see maps and previous 
chapters) which have produced several sub-blocks tilted to the west. The neighbouring 
area of Hawk's Crag breccia, it will be remembered, has a similar structure. 


(1.) Lower Oamaru Beds. 

The Lower Oamaru beds may conveniently be studied near Cape Foulwind and 
Charleston, where they exhibit a basal conglomerate of no great thickness, followed 
by fresh-water grit,* sandstone,* and shale containing lenticular seams of lignite or brown 
coal. The total thickness near Cape Foulwind, as shown by the section exposed in the 
cliffs, does not exceed 150 ft., and at Charleston is probably less. 

In the Buller Valley, east of Hawk's Crag, a considerable development of conglo- 

* These beds are possibly not purely fresh-water deposits. The same statement may be made concerning 
some of the Oamaru conglomerate in the Buller Gorge. No decided evidence of marine or semi-marine 
conditions has been obtained, and this note is inserted chiefly because marine strats^ occur below the co^l at 
Wa,itahu River, near Reefton. 


merate, grit, sandstone, and shale with a total thickness of perhaps 500 ft. covers 
several square miles. Near Hawk's Crag are one or two thin impure seams of a pitch 
coal, which are probably in a lower horizon than the Cape Foulwind-Charleston lignites 
or any of the associated beds. These seams, with the enclosing strata, would probably 
have been assigned to the bituminous coal-measures by the writers had it not been that 
at lower (and also higher) horizons there occur conglomerates containing numerous pieces 
of water-worn coal and carbonaceous shale. Coal pebbles may be seen in nearly every 
outcrop of conglomerate on the roadside from Hawk's Crag to the Blackwater, and are 
again observable at Stitt's Bluff. On the north bank of the Buller the conglomerates 
contain many pebbles of impure coal and carbonaceous shale, some of which are partly 
silicified. Similar rocks occur for some distance up the Blackwater, though in this 
locality coal is found only in small quantity. In some places carbonized fragments of 
wood are present, and this circumstance renders the exercise of caution necessary in 
accepting any individual piece of coaly matter as having been originally derived from a 

The hard light-coloured shales visible on the roadside a quarter of a mile west of 
the Blackwater and also on the track some miles up that stream are more or less 
silicified. They were noted by McKay as having in places the general aspect of the 
Cobden limestone as seen at Greymouth,* but are non-calcareous, and without doubt of 
fresh-water origin. From Stitt's Bluff to the eastern ■ boundary of the subdivision at 
Berlin's light-coloured conglomerates, in which small pebbles predominate, outcrop at 

In the eastern part of the Blackwater valley, a considerable thickness of conglomerate 
and coarse grit is overlain by sandstone and shale with seams of brown coal. These latter 
beds probably correspond in horizon to the lowest beds at Cape Foulwind and Charleston. 
The rocks between Hawk's Crag and Berlin's present some peculiar characters, 
which differentiate them from the Lower Oamaru strata as seen elsewhere in the district. 
In lithological characters they seem related to the Hawk's Crag breccia. This is to be 
explained by the assumption that they consist mainly of material which was derived from 
the adjoining area of the breccia, and, largely in the form of fan gravel, was 
deposited in a wide valley that extended towards the south-south-east from the 
present watershed of Stable Creek. 

In the south-east part of Orikaka Survey District the Lower Oamaru beds consist 
of a little conglomerate, resting as a rule upon granite, followed by grit, sandstone, and 
shale containing lenticular seams of brown coal. 

North of the Mokihinui River the strata assigned to the Lower Oamaru are mainly 
sandstone and mudstone, probably of estuarine character. In one or two places — for 
instance, Sawyer and Mumm creeks — grit and even conglomerate appear. In Podge's 
Creek, which flows into the Mokihinui east of Seddonville, a* few water-worn pieces of 
coal occur in a sandy mudstone. The Lower Miocene beds of the Mokihinui district 
contain no brown coal or lignite, and are correlated with the fresh-water deposits seen 
elsewliere on account of their position some distance below the limestone horizon. 
Northward and westward they thin out, so that in those directions Middle and, as tlie 
overlap increases, even Upper Oamaru beds are found resting unconformably upon much 
more ancient rocks. 

Coal Pebbles in Oamaru Beds. — The coal pebbles found ii\ the Oamaru rocks at 
various horizons, but chiefly in the lowest beds, appear to the writers important evidence 
of unconformity between the Oamaru Series and the bituminous coal-measures. 

* " Report on tho Geology of the South-west Part of Nelson and the Northern Part of VVestland." 
Mines Report, 1895, C.-13, p. 7 ; and p. 16 of reprint (1897), 


Proximate analyses of the coaly pebbles from various localities on the west coast of the 
South Island are as follows : — 











Fixed carbon 
Volatile matter 

















































Total sulphur per cent. 











Specific gravity 






* No explanation of this low specific gravity can be given, unless an error of some kind has been made. 
This is not probable, however, except in so far as porosity is a factor. 

(1 and 2). Omotumotu Ridge, Greymouth. Samples collected by Geological Survey 
(probably by A. McKay in December, 1873). Analyses by W. Skey 
(Lab. Eep. No. 10, 1875, pp. 9-10.) 
(3.) Upper part of Kaiata Creek, Greymouth. Sample collected in 1909 by 

J. A. Bartrum. (See also N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 13). 
(4.) Coal pebbles from sandstone just above Cobden limestone, Punakaiki River 

(between Barrytown and Brighton). 
(5 and 6.) Podge's Creek, Mokihinui. Bright coal and impure coal. 
(7-9.) Pebbles of coal and carbonaceous shale from conglomerate, east end of 

Blackwater Bridge, Buller Gorge Road. 
(10.) Coal from small seam, north-east of Hawk's Crag. 

The coals of analyses 1-5 are strikingly similar, although from three different 
localities. Volatile matter in four of these predominates over fixed carbon, and water 
averages between 7 and 8 per cent. The highly carbonaceous shale represented by 
analysis No. 6, though relatively high in volatile matter, comes into the same category. 

The impure coal of analysis 7, and the carbonaceous shale of analyses 8 and 9, difier 
greatly from the preceding samples in having fixed carbon very high, with volatile matter 
and water relatively low. This discordance is pai-tly explainable by weathering, due 
to the porous nature of the conglomerate from which the sample was taken, but it is 
probable that the parent coal-seams at the time of erosion were different in composition. 
Analysis No. 10, of coal from a small seam exposed on the roadside in the Miocene rocks 
north-east of Hawk's Crag, is quoted for comparison with the analyses of coaly pebbles 
from the Blackwater Bridge. A close resemblance is shown, but the pebbles, on the 
whole, have lost more volatile hydrocarbon, and are almost devoid of water. 

For the information of the reader the following references to coal pebbles in coal- 
measures or associated strata may be cited : — 

(1.) T. "W. E. David: "The Geology of the Hunter River Coal-measures, 
New South Wales." Memoirs of the Geol. Surv. of N.S.W., Geology, 
No. 4, 1907, p. 30. 
(2.) W. S. Gresley : " Coal Pebble in a Coal-seam." The Oeological Magazine, 
Dec. V, vol. vi, 1909, pp. 157-60. Gresley gives references to British 
occurrences, and mentions the discovery of coal pebbles in the coal- 
mfeasures of Pennsylvania and Vancouver Island. 
(3.) W. Boyd Dawkins : Lecture on " The South-eastern Coalfield, the Associated 
Rocks, and the Buried Plateau," before the Manchester Geological and Mining 
Society, reported in Colliery Guardian, 8th November, 1912, pp. 940-41. 

Plate XVII. 

Mangatini Brikge, between B and C Sections, Westport-Stockton Company's Lease. The 
Deep Narrow Gorge op the Mangatini Stream is barely 

View near Mouth of Noakawau Kiver, showing IIailway-bridoe, Wkstpokt-Stockton 

Company's Power-house, Bins, etc. 

Gcol. Hull. No. 77.] ITo face page S6. 


Unconformity between Bituminous Coal-measures and Oamaru Series. — The presence 
of an unconformity on the west coast of the South Island between the bituminous 
coal-measures of approximate Eocene age and the Oamaru Series of Miocene age has 
already received some attention, and one of the present writers has discussed the 
question elsewhere.* His conclusions have been questioned by Marshallf, partly on the 
ground that no direct stratigraphical evidence of unconformity has been discovered, 
and partly for other reasons. Since Marshall wrote, much additional evidence favouring 
unconformity has been collected, and is embodied in a paper by Morgan, to which 
reference has already been made. Therefore it is not necessary here to traverse the 
same ground in its entirety, but the suggestion that the coal pebbles are the product 
of the contemporaneous erosion of neighbouring coal-seams, and the nature of the 
differential elevation assumed to have taken place will be further discussed. 

It is perfectly certain that the admittedly Miocene brown-coal seams have not been 
the source of the coal pebbles in the Bxiller Gorge conglomerates,, for they are at a 
higher horizon. Even the small seams of pitch-coal north-east of Hawk's Crag are, 
so far as has been ascertained, higher in the series than most (if not all) of the coal- 
pebble beds with which they are interbedded, and inspection in the field will soon 
convince most observers that these small and evidently lenticular seams are not the 
source of the coal pebbles. Much less can the brown-coal seams of a somewhat higher 
horizon be held accountable for them. Thus the underlying bituminous coal-seams, 
by a process of elimination, are found to be the all-but-certain source of the coaly 
pebbles, and all that remains to be decided is whether they were elevated and eroded 
in one locality whilst conformable deposition was proceeding in another. Clearly all 
erosion is contemporaneous with conformable deposition in some other part of the 
globe, and therefore some restriction of the term " contemporaneous erosion " by a clear 
definition is required. In the meantime it may be asked whether the term is fairly 
applicable to cases in which considerable areas have been elevated not hundreds but 
thousands of feet, and, after the removal of great masses of strata by denudation, have 
again subsided and received a fresh covering of marine sediments containing material 
derived from older beds. Such has been the course of events on the west coast of the 
South Island from Greymouth to SeddonvUle. 

It is true that in Australia, Great Britain, and other countries conglomerates in 
Palaeozoic coal-measures containing pebbles of coal have been regarded merely as proof 
of contemporaneous erosion and not of unconformity. But other evidence of local 
unconformity in the Permo-Carboniferous rocks of AustraliaJ is not wanting ; and in 
Great Britain considerable local unconformities within the Carboniferous rocks are 
clearly present. Geikie writes, " In north Staffordshire there appears to be no break 
in the conformable continuity of the coal-measures. But in the adjoining county of 
Shropshire, at a distance of not more than twenty-five or thirty miles to the south-west, 
a strong unconformability (locally known as the ' Symon fault ') has been detected 
between the middle and upper coal-measures. The older strata have been thrown into 
folds, over the top of which the younger series has been laid down. Other uncon- 
formabilities have been claimed in various districts both in England and Scotland."! 
Dawkins, speaking of the hidden Kent coalfield, is reported as saying, " The coarse 
sandstones, with pebbles of coal sometimes taking the form of a coal-conglomerate, and 
at others with pebbles of shale and sandstone. . . . first noted by Logan and 

* P. G. Morgan, N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 1,3, lijll, pp. 42, 52, 66, &c. and " Unconformities in the Stratified 
Rocks of the West Coast of the South Island," Trans., vol. 46, 1914, pp. 270-78. 

f " New Zealand and Adjacent Islands " (reprinted from " Handbuch dor regionalen Geologio "), 
Heidelberg, 1912, p. 68. See also Trans., vol. 43, 1911, pp. 392-93. 

X T. W. E. David : Op. cit., p. 2. 

§ Arch. Geikio : " Text-book of Geology," vol. ii, 4th edition, 1903, p. 1050. 


De la Beche in Soutli Wales and Somerset are equally well represented in Kent. 
In both areas there is the same evidence of a vast denudation of an older series of 
coal-measures. In both the lower measures had assumed their present physical characters 
before the deposition of the pennant ; the plants had been fossilized and converted into 
coal, the mudbanks changed into shales and binds, and the sandbanks into sandstones, and 
the whole series brought within the reach of the forces of denudation, so as to allow of 
their fragments helping to build up the middle coal-measures. It may therefore be inferred 
that the interval between them is of great magnitude."* 

That the pre-Miocene elevation of the bituminous coal-measures was differential may 
be regarded as proved by field evidence. No appreciable amount of folding can be 
shown as having taken place prior to the deposition of the Miocene strata, and therefore 
the uplift was almost certainly the result of block-faulting, probably accompanied 
by tilting. At present no boundaries for the faulted block or blocks can be determined, 
but the absence of bituminous coal-measures tinder the Miocene rocks at Cape Foul- 
wind and Charleston, together with other circumstances, suggests that the western 
uplifted edge of a major block may have been to the seaward of these localities, and 
that the block itself was tilted to the east. "Whether the " hypothesis of block- 
faulting with the restriction that the faulted block alone moved " suggested by C. A. 
Cottonf holds good or not cannot be stated, but the reference may be helpful to the 
reader, especially when considering the whole subject of block-faulting in New Zealand. 

(2.) Middle Oamaru Beds. 

The Middle Oamaru beds consist of calcareous claystone, sandstone, and grit, with 
limestone as the uppermost member. In most localities the lower boundary may be 
defined as the plane where fluviatile deposits are succeeded by marine strata, but in 
the Mokihinui district it becomes more or less indeterminate, the Lower Oamaru beds, 
as already mentioned, being there estuarine in character. The upper boundary is 
somewhat indefinite in point of time, for the limestone exposures vary greatly in thick- 
ness, and possibly in diflierent parts of the subdivision are not strictly contemporaneous. 

The various members are well seen in the cliffs near Cape Foulwind, where from 
west to east in upward order are exposed claystone with calcareous bands and con- 
cretions, a soft yellow sandstone (red where weathered), a further band of claystone, 
calcareous grit, and limestone. The total thickness shown by the section is over 
500 ft. On the beach there is only about 15 ft. of rock sufficiently calcareous to be 
called limestone, but in the quarry to the south-east 50 ft. of almost pure limestone 
is visible, whilst boring has proved the existence of another 30 ft., below which comes 
ferruginous calcareous grit. Some miles southward, near Charleston, the limestone has 
increased in thickness to 400 ft. or more, but this gain is to a considerable extent at 
the expense of the underlying claystone, &c. Hence to the southern boundary of the 
subdivision limestone forms a prominent escarpment (cuesta type) facing the coast at 
an average distance of somewhat less than two miles inland. 

Bores near Fairdown and Sergeant's Hill which attained depths of 1,742 ft. and 2,500 ft. 
so far as known failed to reach limestone, and therefore it is not certain that this 
member of the Middle Oamaru is present under the Upper Oamaru beds of the coastal 
plain north-east of Westport. At Gentle Annie Point, north of the Mokihinui Eiver, the 
Middle Oamaru consists largely of highly calcareous claystone, some of which approaches 
an impure limestone in composition. Towards Kongahu Point much the same rock is seen, 

* Op. cit. (Colliery Ouardian), p. 940. 

t " On the Relations of the Great Marlborough Conglomerate to the Underlying Formations in the Middle 
Clarence Valley, New Zealand." Journal of Geology, vol. xxii, No. 4, May-^une, 1914, pp. 346-63. 


reposing almost directly upon granite, the Lower Oamaru beds, owing to overlap, being 

In the inland Mokihinui area arenaceous limestone of great thickness (probably 
400 ft.) is a conspicuous member of the Middle Oamaru. This rock forms high cliffs 
near the New Inland Karamea Eoad, and is there underlain by marine mudstone and 
sandstone. Towards Corbyvale the limestone becomes argillaceous, and then resembles 
the rock at Gentle Annie and Kongahu points. 

In the south-east part of Orikaka Survey District the Middle Oamaru rocks exposed 
are mainly bluish claystone and sandstone. The overlying limestone outcrops only in 
a few places — for example, at the bridge over the Buller near Lyell, about two miles up 
Pensini Creek (here just outside the subdivision), and on the ridge between Blue Duck 
and Slug creeks. 

Analyses of the Middle Oamaru limestones and claystones will be found in Chapter VI, 
under the headings of " Limestones," " Clays," and " Cement Materials." 

(3.) Upper Gamaru Beds. 

The Upper Oamaru beds are well represented in the line of cliffs east of Cape 
Foulwind, where over 800ft. of bluish calcareous sandy claystone or "marl" may be 
seen in a continuous section. This rock instantly recalls the " Blue Bottom " of West- 
land, to which it exactly corresponds in age and in every other respect. It contains 
numerous calcareous concretions, which are usually arranged in groups more or less 
parallel to the bedding planes. These concretions are popularly regarded as boulders, 
more especially when they unfortunately happen to be encountered in a borehole. 
The more sandy layers in addition to quartz grains and clayey matter contain a con- 
siderable amount of finely divided mica, some black-sand (titaniferous magnetite), and 
other minerals in very minor amount. 

Blue clays similar to those near Cape Foulwind are seen at Bradshaw's, at Ad- 
dison's, and in the valleys of the various streams descending from the Paparoa Range 
into the coastal district south of Westport. At quite a number of spots mining oper- 
ations show them to be present at a very moderate depth beneath the Pleistocene 
gravels and sands of the coastal plain. Near the Paparoa Range a gritty character 
is fairly common, and this seems to indicate approach to the old shore-line. In that 
case one must suppose tlxat the uplift of the Paparoa earth-block began before the 
close (if not before the beginning) of the Miocene. Confirmation of this hypothesis is 
perhaps afforded by the presence of small coal pebbles in Upper Oamaru beds, in the 
higher reaches of the Waitakere River (outside the subdivision). 

North-east of Westport Upper Oamaru beds underlie the gravels and sands of the 
coastal plain at no great depth. The bores between Sergeant's Hill and Fairdown have 
proved a great thickness ; but, with the exception of an isolated outcrop near Sergeant's 
Hill, exposures appear only towards the foot of the Papahaua Range. A yellow or 
brown sandstone, blue where unweathered, is by far the most common rock. It is well 
seen in the valleys of the Orowaiti River (Giles Creek), Ballarat Creek, and south-east 
of Waimangaroa Junction on the road to Denniston. 

The Upper Miocene rocks of the considerable area near Mokihinui traversed by 
Brewery, Chatterbox, Patten, and Dufty creeks are almost entirely bluish sandstones, 
which weather yellow, and in places pass into sandy mudstone. The sandstones are 
generally fine-grained, but towards the base may become gritty. They appear to be 
of great thickness, but there is some repetition due to faulting, and an allowance ought 
probably to be made for the apparent thickening due to deposition advancing outward 
from the shore-line (as with the fore-set beds of a delta). 



Carbonized pieces of wood are not uncommon in the Lower Oamaru conglomerates 
of the Buller Gorge, where, as previously mentioned, care is necessary in order to 
distinguish them from the coal pebbles which are abundant in the same beds. Immedi- 
ately east of Berlin's, but outside the subdivision, impressions of leaves of ferns, conifers, 
and other plants are found in shales outcropping on the roadside. Coniferous leaves, 
similar to those near Berlin's, occur in shale overlaying the brown coal at Line's 
Whitecliffs Coal-mine. No plant-remains were collected within the subdivision, but 
leaf-impressions occur in the calcareous rocks near Corbyvale and Gentle Annie Point. 
The writers have also been informed that Mr. W. F. Worley, of Nelson, found fossil 
leaves at German Gully, near Westport, many years ago. 

Casts of fucoid stems are common in the marine members of the Oamaru Series, 
and remains of calcareous algae form a considerable proportion of nearly all the lime- 
stones. The genus represented is Lithothamnion, of a species differing from that found 
in the Fletcher Brook limestone of Eocene age. 

Foraminifera are abundant in the limestones and in the more calcareous mudstones. 
Sections of the Cape Foulwind and other limestones show the presence of Globigerina, 
Rotalia, Textularia, and probably other genera. 

A species of Flabellum (or allied genus) is fairly abundant in the Middle Oamaru 
claystone of the Cape Foulwind cliffs. Fragments of coral occur in the calcareous rocks 

of Gentle Annie Point. 


Poorly preserved remains of echinoids occur in the calcareous rocks of Gentle Annie 
Point, the Three-mile Creek (McKay, 1874), New Inland Karamea Road (near Corby- 
vale), &c. 


Bryozoan fragments are found in all the limestones, and in places may form a 
notable proportion of the rock. 


Oiwullcea ponderosa var. B. Hutton. Totara River, in Upper Oamaru horizon. 

Limopsis sp. (?) Cape Foulwind cliffs, in claystone about 150 ft. above limestone 

Glycymeris cordata (Hutton). East of Waimangaroa Junction, on road to Denniston, 
in shelly band of Upper Oamaru rocks. 

Glycymeris sp. Casts of young shells, not a Recent species, in Middle Oamaru lime- 
stone. New Inland Karamea, Road, near Corbyvale. 

Atrina zelandica (Gray). Brewery Creek, near Mokihinui, in Upper Oamaru. 
This and the other fossils recorded from Brewery Creek were collected by McKay in 
1874 (locality No. 44). The enclosing rocks, bluish in colour, are calcareous micaceous 
mudstone and sandstone. A. zelandica is a Recent species. 

Ostrea (Eostrea) wuellerstorfii Zittel. Kongahu Point, in coarse calcareous grit; 
White Rock or Gentle Annie Point, collected by McKay in 1874 (locality No. 55). 
Horizon lower part of Middle Oamaru. 

Pecten sp. Gentle Annie Point, in calcareous rock of Middle Oamaru horizon. 

Pecten {Camptonectes, Pseudamusium) huttoni (Park). Cape Foulwind cliflEs, at 
20 ft. to perhaps 100 ft. above the limestone, and therefore in Upper Oamaru beds. 
* All the moUuBcan determinations are by Mr. Henry Suter. 


What is probably a young specimen was collected from impure limestone (Middle 
Oamaru) near the mouth of Six-mile Creek. 

Pecten (Amusium) zitteli Hutton. Inland of White Rock or Gentle Annie Point. 
Probably Middle Oamaru, but may be from Kaiata beds. Collected by McKay in 
1874 (locality No. 34). 

Hinnites trailli Hutton (?). Near Gentle Annie Point. Middle Oamaru. 

Lima sp. Karamea Road, near Stillwater Creek crossing, in Middle Oamaru lime- 

Anomia sp. Limestone bluffs on New Inland Karamea Road, and Gentle Annie 
Point (?). Middle Oamaru. 

Pholadomya neozelanica Hutton. Cast only. Near Lyell Bridge (one mile below 
Lyell) and probably in Middle Oamaru beds. This and other fossils from the same 
locality are supposed to have been collected by Hector in 1869 (locality No. 274). 

Venericardia australis Lamarck (?) Near Lyell Bridge. Recent. 

Gardium ■patulum Hutton (?). Near Lyell Bridge. 

Protocardia (Nemocardium) pulchella (Gray) (?). Brewery Creek. Recent. 

Dosinia {Dosinisca) greyi Zittel. Totara River (juvenile) and Brewery Creek, in 
Upper Oamaru. Recent. 

Tellina eugonia Suter. Brewery Creek. Recent. 

Ghione stutchburyi (Gray). East of Waimangaroa Junction, on Denniston Road. 

Ghione meridionalis (Sowerby). Brewery Creefe ; east of Waimangaroa Junction, on 
Denniston Road ; near Lyell Bridge. 

Ghione sp. East of Waimangaroa Junction on Denniston Road. 

Gytherea {Circomphalus) sulcata (Hutton). Brewery Creek and near Lyell Bridge (?). 

Gytherea sp. (or allied genus). Omanu or Back Creek, in Upper Oamaru. 

Psammobia zelandica Deshayes. Brewery Creek. Recent. 

Mactra chrydoea Suter. Omanu or Back Creek. 

Mactra sp., near M. chrydcea Suter. Brewery Creek. 

Zenates acinaces (Quoy and Gaimard). Brewery Creek. Recent. 

Gorhula caniculata Hutton. Brewery Creek. 

Corbula humerosa Hutton. Brewery Creek. 

Panopea worthingtoni Hutton. Near Lyell Bridge. 

Dentalium mantelli Zittel. Cape Foulwind cliffs, in Middle Oamaru rocks. 
Dentalium solidum Hutton. Cape Foulwind cliffs ; east of Waimangaroa Junction 
on Denniston Road ; Brewery Creek : all in Upper Oamaru. 

Turbo, n. sp. Brewery Creek. 

Trochus sp. Omanu or Back Creek. 

Epitonium sp. (?). Brewery Creek. 

Crepidula gregaria Sowerby. East of Waimangaroa Junction on Denniston Road 
(Upper Oamaru) ; near Lyell Bridge. 

Polinices gihbosus (Hutton). East of Waimangaroa Junction on Denniston Road ; 
Brewery Creek. 

Polinices cinctus (Hutton). Brewery Creek. One specimen very large. 

Polinices huttoni v. Ihering. Brewery Creek. 

Polinices suturalis (Hutton). Brewery Creek. 

Turritella murrayana Tate. Brewery Creek. 

Struthiolaria cincta Hutton. Brewery Creek. 


Galeodea senex (Hutton) (?). Brewery Creek. 
Siphonalia sp., allied to S- costata (Hutton). Brewery Creek. 
Siphonalia sp. Omanu Creek. 

Fulguraria gracilis (Swainson) (?). Bast of Waimangaroa Junction on Denniston 
Road. Recent. 

Olivella neozelanica Hutton. East of Waimangaroa Junction on Denniston Road. 
Bathytoma haasti (Hutton) (?). Brewery Creek. 
Conus (Chelyconus) n. sp. Brewery Creek. 
Conus (Oonospira) n. sp. Brewery Creek. 

Carcharodon megalodon Agassiz. Cape Foulwind. Identified by J. W. Davis.* 

In 1866 Hector made a small collection of fossils (locality No. 637) from points 
between Mokihinui River and West Wanganui (Westhaven). Though most, if not all, 
of these were obtained outside the subdivision, Mr. Suter's determinations may here 
be given for general information. The specimens identified were probably all from 
Miocene {i.e., Oamaru) rocks, and are as follows : Ostrea nelsoniana Zittel ; Ostrea 
(Eostrea) wuellerstorfii Zittel ; Glycymeris laticostata (Quoy and Garmard) (?), a Recent 
species ; PoUnices huttoni von Ihering. 

In addition to the above Mollusca, Terehratula magna (Hamilton)t has been deter- 
mined by Dr. J. A. Thomson in this collection. 


Taken as a whole, the thirty-nine species of Mollusca given in the preceding list 
contain approximately 23 per cent, of Recent species. It will be observed, however, 
that only one of the Gasteropoda and neither of the two species of Dentalium are now 
living. Thus among the Pelecypoda eight species out of twenty-two, or 36 per cent., are 
Recent. The Middle Oamaru beds furnish twelve species, of which only one is now 
living, whilst the corresponding numbers for the Upper Oamaru are thirty-one and eight. 

So far as percentages of Recent species can be accepted as a guide, it would appear 
that the Upper Oamaru beds are of Upper Miocene age. The fossils collected from 
the Middle Oamaru are not sufficiently numerous to form a safe basis for a final opinion, 
but the paucity of species common to the two sets of beds indicates that the plane of 
division adopted is a natural one. 

Since only four of the identified species are common to both Middle and Upper 
Oamaru beds, the change of conditions at the end of the Middle Oamaru must have 
been very considerable, and it also follows that deposition of the limestone must have 
occupied a long period, as indeed could be predicted from its great thickness in several 
localities, for none of the Upper Oamaru species is known to recur in the lithologically 
similar beds beneath the limestone. 

In two localities — Waimangaroa and Brewery Creek — the fossils were taken as a 
guide in determining the division of the Oamaru Series in which the Miocene beds 
were to be placed. At Waimangaroa the fossils as a whole have a Blue Bottom 
facies, and two out of the eight species certainly identified are Recent. McKay's most 
welcome collection from Brewery Creek contains twenty-five species, of which six, or 
24 per cent., are Recent. Though the beds from which McKay collected were, so far 
as the writers can ascertain, considerably above the base of the Miocene rocks in that 

* See " Report on the Fossil Pish Remains of New Zealand," Rep. G.S. during 1892-93, 1894, pp. 99, 
116 ; and Trans. Roy. Dubhn Soc, vol. iv, series ii, 1888. 
t N.Z.G.S. BuU. No. 11, 1910, p. 18. 


locality, yet the lithologically similar nature of the strata from summit to base, and the 
complete absence of limestone or any thick calcareous layer, compels the belief that 
all are above the limestone horizon of other localities. 

In estimating the number of species the new but unnamed species and those 
doubtfully identified have been taken into account. Greneric determinations standing 
alone have of course been neglected. 

A consideration of the lists of Oamaru fossils from the Reefton Subdivision identified 
to date by Mr. Suter thoroughly confirms the Miocene age of the series, but shows 
that there is less difference between the upper and middle horizons than would be 
supposed from the results just discussed. The Upper Oamaru beds near Inangahua 
Junction and Brighton (Fox River) have yielded nineteen fossil speciea» of which seven, 
or 37 per cent., are living. The identified species from the Middle Oamaru beds of 
the same localities are thirty-eight in number, of which ten, or 26 per cent., are Recent. 
The combined number of species is fifty-five, containing sixteen living species, or 29 per 

•Pleistocene Beds. 

The Pleistocene strata of the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision consist mainly of marine 
sandstone, together with morainic, fluvio-glacial, and fluviatile gravels. They pass 
upward into Recent deposits, from which they cannot well be entirely differentiated. 
From the Miocene rocks they are separated by a well-marked unconformity, easily 
seen, for example, in the excellent section furnished by the cliffs east of Cape Foulwind. 
Owing to their auriferous character, the Pleistocene deposits were formerly extensively 
worked for the precious metal, and are still of considerable economic importance. They 
will therefore be further discussed in Chapter VI. 

Fluvio-glacial and Morainic Gravels. 

True morainic accumulations are not certainly present within the subdivision, 
but confused piles of large grit and sandstone blocks that occur in several places 
on the Papahaua Mountains probably represent material transported by snow-slides 
during the Pleistocene. Deposits of this nature derived from the higher slopes are 
found near Coalbrookdale and Kiwi Compressor. Similar material is again seen on the 
higher slopes of Mount Frederick, near the head of the Waimangaroa River. On the 
western flank of Mount Rochfort there are accumulations of angular blocks and 
small ridges resembling terminal moraines. Though these last-mentioned occurrences 
may well be due to surface slips, yet one at least, a hillock at the foot of the slopes 
near Christmas Creek, has all the appearance of glacially deposited material. 

Some large erratics found on the Addison flats near Wilson's Lead Road are 
almost certainly ice-transported, for no other explanation of their presence can be 
offered. With these may be compared the large boulders mentioned below as occurring 
in the sluicing claims at Bradshaw's. A number of large rounded granitic boulders 
that strew the surface of the limestone near Tauranga Bay may possibly be ice-carried, 
as suggested to the writers by Mr. Sydney Fry, but more probably have been derived 
from the Cape Foulwind granite (or gneiss) and brought to their present position by 
wave-action at a time when the sea was at a higher level relatively to the land than it 
is to-day. With these may be compared the boulder-bed of the cliffs east of the cape 
mentioned below under the heading of " Marine Sandstone, &c." 

Fluvio-glacial gravels may be seen near the main coach-road about a mile on the 
Westport side of the BuUer Ferry (Te Kuha), and also west of the Buller on the Loop- 
line Road. Similar deposits occur in the Buller Gorge immediately to the east of the 
Ohikanui River, and, more or less mixed with talus or pluvial deposits, at several 
points in the U-shaped valley of that stream. 


Fluviatile Gravels. 

Purely fluviatile gravels of Pleistocene age have a moderate development in the 
subdivision. They are found on the tops of the high-level terraces north and south of 
the Buller, and in the middle portions of the valleys of the Waitakere River and its 
tributaries. Similar deposits form a cover to older rocks in several parts of the 
relatively depressed area immediately west of the Glasgow fault — for instance, in the 
upper valleys of the Ngakawau arid its tributaries. Gravel-topped terraces occur in 
the upper Mackley Valley, and have a considerable development on both sides of the 
Buller near New and Pensini creeks. Owing to their generally moderate thickness, 
and the impossibility of obtaining defined boundaries, the Pleistocene deposits in the 
areas near the Glasgow fault, with the exception of those in the Mokihinui district, 
are not shown by the maps. Pleistocene stream gravels form portions of the high 
terraces in the Ohikanui Valley, but it is not always possible to draw a distinction 
between these and the fluvio-glacial or pluvial deposits. 

In all locahties the fluviatile gravels consist of material derived almost entirely 
from the pre-Tertiary rocks. Thus the constituent pebbles are mainly greywacke, 
granite, and gneiss, with minor amounts of quartz-porphyry, hornfels, schist, and argiUite. 

Marine and Fluvio-marine Gravels, Sands, &c. 

The high - level terraces near Westport are in part formed of fluvio-marine and 
marine gravels and sands, supplied chiefly by the Buller River, and then more or less 
sorted by the sea. This material rests on Miocene claystone and sandstone which 
evidently have been cut by marine action into a series of shelves corresponding more 
or less to the main terraces, now deeply gravel-capped. The actual surfaces of the 
highest terraces (500 ft. to 600 ft. above sea-level) are, as previously remarked, composed 
of fluviatile deposits, but between this and the underlying Miocene claystone is in 
places at least a layer of marine material, or possibly the stream gravels pass into 
fluvio-marine beds towards the seaward margin. McKay writes, " On the south side of 
the Buller the marine sands cap the brink of the highest teftace. . . . Black-sand 
deposits, evidencing the presence of the sea, are also to be met with on the higher 
terrace."* The same writer, discussing the matter on another occasion, favours stream- 
deposition for the material forming the high-level terraces north of the Buller, the 
reason given being that there is a scarcity of black-sand in that locality. f 

Near Charleston there is a development of high-level terrace gravels and sands 
similar to those nearer Westport, except that these in part rest upon gneiss, and have 
a much stronger marine facies. They contain highly auriferous lenses or " beach-leads " 
abounding in black-sand. 

Below the 280 ft. contour the coastal plain is almost everjrwhere coated by marine 
deposits, which in many places are highly auriferous. Much eroded Pleistocene beach 
deposits occur on the lower western slopes of RadcUffe Ridge towards the Mokihinui, 
and have supplied the gold obtained in Patten, Chatterbox, and other creeks. Small 
fragments of a raised beach are also seen near Gentle Annie Point at a height of 
perhaps 200 ft. above the sea. 

A soft yellow-to-brown sandstone covers a considerable area from Cape Foulwind 
towards Addison's. Its colour is due to the oxidation of black-sand (titaniferous 
magnetite), which in places is concentrated into richly auriEerous but lenticular layers. 
These are generally strongly cemented, and the same thing occurs with those portions 

* " Geology of the South-west Part of Nelson and the Northern Part of the Westland District." C.-13, 
(in Mines Report), 1895, p. 8. Second edition, 1897, p. 17. 

t " Gold-deposits of New Zealand," 1903 (reprinted from Mines Record), p. 26. ■ 


of the sandstone that contain much disseminated iron-oxide. The thickness of the 
sandstone as a rule does not exceed 25 ft. to 30 ft., but near Charleston a loose white 
quartz sand seen at the end of the Back Lead Road reaches a thickness of over 100 ft. 

At the base of the Pleistocene sandstone, as exposed by the Cape Foulwind cliffs, 
a discontinuous layer of gneiss or granite boulders (a beach deposit) .resting on the 
eroded Miocene rocks is visible. Above this in one or two places is a peaty lignite 
layer a foot or more in thickness.* A corresponding boulder bed, overlain by 10 ft. to 
15 ft. of sand and shingle, above which is 10 ft. of gravel, may be seen in a sluicing 
claim at Bradshaw's, and in Dennehy's claim (Bull's) a carbonaceous layer probably in 
quite the same horizon as the Cape Foulwind peaty material is exposed. Some of 
the boulders are from 3 ft. to 5 ft. in diameter, the largest bjing at Bradshaw's. Those 
near Cape Foulwind may quite well be regarded as derived from the neighbouring 
gneiss and granite now exposed at the cape, but the Bradshaw's boulders are not so 
easily explained, and one must suppose them to have been transported by ice to the 
immediate neighbourhood. 

Ancient sandhills occur in several localities south-east of Cape Foulwind at 100 ft. 
or more above sea-level. With these may be included the higher sandhills south of 
Tauranga Bay, as well as various sandy ridges or sandhills at a somewhat lower level 
than those first mentioned south-east of Tauranga Bay and near Fairdown, Granity, 
and Birchfield. These latter deposits, however, are preferably classsed as Recent. 

Recent Deposits. 

Under this head come the gravels and silts of the various river-flats ; the unfixed 
sand-dunes that fringe the shore-line in most localities, except Cape Foulwind, from 
Charleston to Gentle Annie Point ; fan gravels ; pluvial deposits ; talus, &c. 

Talus, fan, and pluvial deposits, which may in part be regarded as Pleistocene, 
fringe the foot of many mountain-slopes. They are more prominent in the valley 
of the Ohikanui than anywhere else in the subdivision. Near Birchfield, Fan Creek 
has formed the prominent deposit to which it owes its name, and the Totara River 
has also built a considerable fan.f 

Igneous Rocks, 
content and general account. 

Igneous rocks of various types have a notable development in the subdivision. 
They consist chiefly of quartz- and granite-porphyries, granites, gneissoid granites, and 
gneisses, associated with more or less contemporaneous acid, intermediate, and basic 
dykes. With the possible exception of some of the gneissic rocks, these are all 
clearly differentiation products of the one magma. In addition, lamprophyric dykes of 
later age transect the granites and the Eocene breccias. 

Various more or less irregular masses of intermediate composition and dioritic 
affinities are apparently intrusive into the granites, but seldom form true dykes with 
clearly defined walls. Most of them may probably be classed more accurately as 
segregations, and are evidently similar in this respect to the occurrences in the Mount 
Radiant district stated by Webb to appear " sometimes as well-defined dykes, but 
more frequently to have much the appearance of segregations from the main mass."J 

The quantitative chemical classification given on a later page confirms the suspicion 
that the lamprophyres, though of a much later date than the other dyke rocks, are 

* See also Alex. McKay : " Roporta Relative to Collections of Fossils made on the West Coast District, 
South Island." Rep. G.S. during 1873-74, No. 8, 1877, p. 107. 
t McKay : Op. cil. (0.-13, 1895), p. 8 ; second edition, p. 17. 
X N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 11, 1910, p. IS. 


also differentiation products of the one granitic magma. Before they were injected, 
sufficient time had elapsed to permit the exposure of a considerable area of granitoid 
rocks by erosion of the overlying sedimentaries, and the consolidation of the coarse 
material constituting the product of this denudation. 


The only types of igneous rock having an important areal distribution are the 
granites, gneisses, and quartz-porphyries. The localities in which these outcrop will 
best be ascertained by consulting the maps, which also show by special signs the various 
basic and acidic dykes located during the survey. Remarks concerning the distribution 
of the several types will be found in the sections specially devoted to them on later 


Nothing definite is known concerning the age of the granites and associated rocks 
further than that they are post-Aorere and pre-Tertiary in date. Since Triassic con- 
glomerates containing numerous pebbles of granite and other igneous rocks are well 
known as occurring in northern Nelson* a pre-Triassic age may tentatively be assigned 
to all the granitic rocks of Nelson and Westland. The lamprophyres, however, in 
places cut the early Tertiary breccias of the bituminous coal-measures, and are therefore 
post-Mesozoic in age. They are correlated by the writers with the similar rocks in 
North Westland described in the bulletins dealing with that area. 


As shown by the maps, granite and gneiss are exposed over large areas in the 
subdivision, and moreover in many places underlie the sedimentary rocks at no great 
depth from the present surface. Granite outcrops extensively on the slopes of Mount 
Kilmarnock and the Glasgow Range, in the Mokihinui gorges, and on the western 
side of Mount Frederick. It is well exposed in the BuUer Gorge, and forms much of 
the northern part of the Paparoa Range, especially within the Ohikanui and Black- 
water valleys. On the western side of the range, in the watersheds of the Totara 
and Nile rivers, and in the central part towards the head of the Ohikanui, the granite 
becomes more or less gneissoid. Gneiss and gneissic granite, doubtless in continuity 
with the Paparoa Range granite, outcrop extensively in the Charleston district, and 
reappear at Cape Foulwind. The rock forming the core of Radcliffe Ridge and 
its virtual continuation — the seaward ridge north of the Mokihinui River — is largely 
gneiss. Gneissic types of rock appear in the gorge of the Ngakawau, outcrop in many 
places along the crest and slopes of the Mount William Range, and have an extensive 
development in the Mackley watershed. In addition the maps show many small and 
apparently isolated patches of granite or gneiss, especially in the Ngakawau Survey 
District, which are really inliers surrounded by bituminous coal-measure rocks. Since 
in mining reports granite and other igneous rocks have been frequently regarded as 
intrusive into the coal-measures, it may be well here to explain that, with the exception 
of the lamprophyric dykes intersecting the Hawk's Crag breccia, no such intrusions have 
taken place. The matter is again mentioned in Chapter VI. 

At many places in the Mokihinui, Ngakawau, and Orikaka survey districts granite 
and gneiss are so intermingled that separate mapping or description becomes impossible. 
Whether this state of affairs is to be explained as due to an irregular production of 
gneissic structure in one original granite, or whether there are in the subdivision two 

* The igneous constituents of this Triassic conglomerate have been described by Marshall in a paper 
entitled " Boulders in Triassic Conglomerate, Nelson," Trans., vol. xl, 1904, pp. 467-71. 

Plate XVITI. 

1. Granite m^th Prominent Microcline, Eoad to Mokihinui Reiop 

2. Same Rock as 1. 


Geol. Bull. No. 17.] 

3. Diorite prom a Tributart of T ;{5 Cuklok. 

4. Quartz-i'orphyry, Kiwi Cheek. 
Magnification of all Figures about 27 Dianictors. 

[To face page so. 


granites of different ages, the older of which was in general converted into gneiss, and 
was then intruded in a complex manner by the later granite, cannot be positively 
determined. Although the field evidence in various localities supports the latter view, 
yet this is not always the case, and since no essential difference in composition or 
other character apart from foliation has been detected, the opinion that gneiss and 
granite are essentially of the one age has the greater weight. 

On the other hand the sediments forming the Aorere Series show by their composition 
that they were probably derived from an ancient land-surface of granite, gneiss, or allied 
rocks.* Huttonf and ParkJ make statements favouring the view that granitic rocks 
of two widely separated ages are present in the central and western parts of Nelson. 
Again, one of the present writers considers the gneissic rocks of North Westland to be 
decidedly older than the granites of the same region. § 


Quartz-porphyry, in places with the characters of a granite-porphyry, has a fairly 
wide distribution in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision. It occurs either in large dyke- 
like masses penetrating the Aorere rocks, or as fringes to granite, into which it appears 
to pass without any f.harp plane of separation. The chief localities in which quartz- 
porphyry has been observed are between Burnett's Face and Coalbrookdale ; in the 
Waimangaroa Eiver south-south-east of Denniston ; in Kiwi Creek (east of Waimangaroa) 
in Wilson Creek (a tributary of the Upper Waimangaroa) ; Cascade Creek valley ; 
Stable, Newman, and Payne (Slaty) creeks (Buller Gorge) ; and Mount William Creek. 
Various occurrences in Inangahua Survey District somewhat outside the subdivision 
will be described in Bulletin No. 18. The granite-porphyry phase may be seen in 
the valleys ol Cascade and Payne creeks. 

A noteworthy feature of the quartz-porphyries is that in several localities they contain 
small angular fragments of greywacke and argUlite in such number that the appearance of 
a breccia is presented, more especially by the weathered rock. This is particularly the 
case with the rock between Burnett's Face and Coalbrookdale, which contains also a 
few rounded fragments of a granite with pinkish feldspar. The inclusions of sedimen- 
tary rock are more or less converted into hornfels, but otherwise are very little altered, 
so that one may conclude that the quartz-porphyiy was neither intensely heated nor 
well supplied with mineralizing solutions at the time of its intrusion. 

Some early observers apparently mistook the quartz-porphyiy with inclusions for 
a sedimentary rock, and it was therefore recorded as " sandstone breccia," &c.|| Many 
years ago Hutton described specimens as " liparite " and " rhyolite,"^ but rejected the 
name " quartz-felsite."** He, however, had not seen the rock in situ, having obtained 
one specimen from Dr. Gaze, and another from the gravels of the Buller Eiver. 

Hector apparently recognized the presence of quartz-porphyry underlying the 
bituminous coal-measiu'es, for in 1872 he writes, "In some places on the West Coast 
this formation passes downward into a breccia of green- and blue-slate rock-fragments, 
cemented with quartzose porphyry."ff 

* See alwo N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 1, 1006, p. 46 ; Bull. No. 6, 1908, i>]>. 85, 96 ; iS:c. 

t " Sketch of the Geology of New Zealand." Q.J.G.S., vol. xli, 1885, pp. 198, 215. 

X " On the Geology of Collingwood County, Nelson." Ro]). G.S. durmg 1888-89, No. 20, 1890, 
pp. 230-31. 

§ P. (}. Morgan : N.Z.(i.S. Hull. No. 6, 1908, p. 82. See also i)p. 30, 76, &e. 

II See for examjilo Denniston 's report, op. rit, sections 162 and 163, p. 167 ; and McKay, "Geology of 
the South-west Part of Nelson and the Northern Part of Westland," tl.-13. Mines Report, 189."), p. 7, and 
Second Edition, 1897, p. Hi, wliore ho speaks of the " breccias of Giainger's Point." 

^1 See, however, page 101, where mention of possible rhyolito in the district is made. 

** Trans, of the (icol. Soc. of Australasia, vol. i, pt. 4, 1890, pj). 109-10. In Jour, and Proc. Roy. Soc. 
N.S.W., vol. xxii. IS89, pp. 114-15, Hutton uses the name quartz-felsite. 

tt " Gn the Henuiins of a (Jigautic Penguin (Prihriidi/jilcn inttnrclicus Huxley) from the Tertiary Rocks 
on the West Coast of Nelson." Trans, vol. iv, 1872, p. 345. 

7— Buller-Mokihinui 



Acidic dykes, represented mainly by pegmatite, traverse the graniti& rocks of tlie 
subdivision in many places. Tbey frequently contain tourmaline and garnet in addition 
to tbe essential quartz, feldspar, and mica, but are seldom of much interest in other 
ways. To this statement a large pegmatite dyke near Charleston, which has been 
worked for its mica-content, is an exception. 

The only aplite dyke noted during the course of the geological survey is outside 
the eastern boundary of the subdivision, and traverses schistose rocks near the junction 
of Hodges Creek with the Rough-and-Tumble (Mokihinui). This dyke, which presents 
no features of more than ordinary interest, is presumably an apophysis from the granite 
that outcrops in the immediate neighbourhood. 


The intermediate igneous rocks may be defined as having a silica percentage between 
55 and 65. This definition excludes the granodiorite of the Mokihinui district, but 
includes many of the dioritic segregations from the granite previously mentioned as 
not forming well-defined dykes. These are mostly quartz-diorites showing an approach 
in some cases to syenite. Some examples are described on later pages. 


The basic dykes are in part diorites without quartz, but are more especially doler- 
ites and lamprophyres (camptonite, monchiquite). Those actually observed, with the 
exception of a diorite dyke in the Mackley River, were of small size, but large boulders 
seen in the lower Ohikanui and the upper Blackwater valleys indicate lamprophyric 
dykes of considerable width in those localities. 


I. The Oranite Series and Associated Igneous Rocks. 

The petrographical types represented in the granite series and the associated 
intrusives include — (1) Granites, (2) gneissose plutonic rocks and gneisses, (3) quartz- 
porphyry, (4) pegmatites and aplites, (5) syenites, (6) quartz-diorites and diorites, 
(7) dolerite. 

These types, with the possible exception of the dolerite, all arise from the one 
magma, in which differentiation, assisted to a minor degree by differences in the rate 
of cooling, has been responsible for the variation in the resulting products. 

The difficulties in distinguishing the numerous gradations existing between typical 
granites and typical gneisses prevent more than an approximation to the true relations 
of the two groups. The coarser varieties of these rocks are inclined to be incoherent, 
and thus microscopic study is hindered by the difficulty of preparing good sections. 
These, however, were made in moderate number, and tend to show that, with the 
probable exception of some coarsely banded contorted gneisses in the southern part of 
the Waitakere Survey District, the unaltered granites and the gneissose granites 
are one and the same rock. A rough banding of the granite has been induced by 
granulation and recrystallization consequent on the pressure that has manifested itself 
in extended faulting, and, as may be expected, this banding, as well as the strike- 
direction of the more prominent joints, are in a general way parallel to the trend of the 
major faults. 

The quartz-porphyries, which to a large extent are probably a marginal facies 
of the granite, approach the granite-porphyries and also the porphyrites in their 


general characters. The pegmatites and aplites, as is usual with such rocks, were 
practically contemporaneous with the granite intrusions. In many instances granite and 
pegmatite dykes transect the massive granite, whilst they also invade the older sedi- 
mentaries near the margins of the main boss or bosses. 

(1.) Oranites. 

As may be expected in so considerable a plutonic intrusion, several members of 
the granite family appear, but the general uniformity is surprising when one considers 
that many of the occurrences are closely associated mth older sedimentaries, and thus 
have been exposed to the influence of assimilation. 

Muscovite- biotite-granite and biotite-granite are the most widely distributed types, 
but biotite-hornblende and porphyritic varieties are also found. In a few of the sections 
examined no ferro-magnesian minerals were present, so that a resemblance to the quartz- 
feldspar rocks of the Wrekin district and the Malvern Hills* is shown. There are one 
or two rocks similar in character to the adamellites as defined by Hatch, •)• but these 
are here provisionally included with the granites. What is apparently a fine-grained 
modification of the prevailing granite, in the gorge of the Mokihinui River above 
Seddonville contains abundant plagioclase, and must be classed among the granodiorites, 
a decision which is justified by the chemical composition (see analysis No. 6, page 105). 

In the field the granitic rocks present considerable differences in texture, and to a 
less extent in structure ; and, as previously stated, rapid changes from a gneissose rock to 
typical granite frequently occur within the space of a few yards. The most common 
type is a moderately coarse-grained greyish rock, which usually weathers to a pinkish 

The structure is moderately uniform, and is typically granitic in most of the 
varieties other than those exhibiting a porphyritic development. Graphic inter- 
growtbs of quartz and feldspar are rarely seen. In nearly all the sections examined 
evidence of severe pressure is afforded by undulose extinction of the quartz and 
occasionally of the feldspar, and by the rupture and bending of the mica lamellae. 
With an approach to gneissose structure granulation and recr)rstallization of the quartz 
give proof of more intense pressure. 

The minerals most commonly identified in addition to the essential constituents are 
apatite, zircon, and rutile, together with secondary rutile (sagenite), chlorite, and 
sericite. Tourmaline, magnetite, sphene, and garnet, with secondary epidote, pyrite, 
and carbonates are occasionally present ; in the section (W 65)J of the granodiorite 
from the Mokihinui district sphene is moderately plentiful. Deep grass-green to 
yellowish-gi'een hornblende is associated with biotite in the section (W 24) made from 
a specimen with idiomorphic feldspars collected near the Grenadier Rocks on the coast 
north of the Mokihinui River. Much of the biotite — a brownish-green variety — may 
be derived from the amphibole. 

The varieties of feldspar are most commonly orthoclase, microcline, microperthite, 
or cryptoperthite that may be anorthoclase, and oligoclase. Oligoclase-andesine is 
sometimes recognized. Micropegmatite phenocrysts in which orthoclase, or less com- 
monly microcline or oligoclase, is intergrown with quartz are not uncommon. Microcline 
frequently forms large plates which enclose rounded crystals of orthoclase, plagioclase, 
mica, and sometimes quartz. The alkali feldspars, though less abundant than quartz, 
in general much outweigh the plagioclase. The characteristic alteration is to sericite 
with a little quartz. 

* A. Harker : " Petrology for Students," lird edition, 1902, p. 36. 

t " Text-book of Petrology," 6th edition, 1910, p. 153, &c. 

X The letter and number are those given to the slide in the Geological Survey collection. 

7 * — Bulier-Mokihinui . 


The quartz very commonly lias numerous inclusions of minute, slender, rutile 
needles, and lines of liquid inclusions. It is the most abundant constituent in a 
majority of the sections. 

The biotite is usually a deep-brown to pale yellowish-brown intensely pleochroic 
variety : purple-brown and green to greenish-brown colours are often exhibited. It 
shows a gradual alteration to pennine, frequently accompanied by separation of rutile 
needles or sagenite, and occasionally of iron-oxides. Microscopic zircons showing a 
strong pleochroic halo are sometimes seen as inclusions in the biotite, and, where 
pressure has been active, the lamellse are generally bent or broken. 

Primary muscovite is much less important than biotite in the Westport granites. 
Sericite, as already remarked, is a common secondary mineral, produced by alteration 
of the feldspars, &c. 

In the Westport granites tourmaline is less abundant than in those of Westland, 
as for example in the Lake Brunner district. Microscopic crystals are rare, and have 
been found only in two sections (W 2 and W 52), both representing rocks from Stony 
Creek, near Waimangaroa. The tourmaline in these sections is a pleochroic blue 
variety : whether it is primary or replaces feldspar is uncertain. Large macroscopic 
crystals of tourmaline are moderately plentiful in the pegmatitic rocks of several localities 
mentioned in a later paragraph. A pebble of a curious schorl-rock composed chiefly of 
deep-brown tourmaline prisms enwrapped by a small amount of quartz and feldspar was 
collected from the Mokininui Eiver bed. 

In one or two slides (for example, W 3, from Stony Creek) there is a moderate 
amount of microgranitic quartz, feldspar, and mica matrix which enwraps the coarser 
minerals, and gives a distinctly porphyritic aspect. In the coarsely crystalline, some- 
what porphyritic granitic rock (WIO), already described by Hutton,* that outcrops 
on the Denniston-Waimangaroa horse-track, a pseudo-ophitic structure unusual in 
granites merits remark. Large plates of cryptoperthite enclose or enwrap numerous 
crystals of quartz, oligoclase, and mica. Quartz forms similar but smaller and less- 
plentiful plates. The leading minerals have a markedly idiomorphic character. 

Amongst several other types from the Westport district, Hutton describes a 
garnetiferous muscovite -granite from the lower part of BuUer Gorge. f 

(2.) Gneissose Plutonic Bocks and Gneisses. 

Gneissose granites have a wide development throughout the subdivision, and, so 
far as the present investigation has gone, appear to represent the effect of pressure 
upon the granites of the preceding section, but the reservation is made that in part 
they may be of older age. Gneissose dioritic rocks have also been found. 

HuttonJ and Sollas§ have described sections from such rocks at Cape Foulwind, 
and thelatter's description is applicable in a general way to most of the similar rocks of 
the district. The quartz, however, seldom shows such precise granulation and definite ^ 
banding of granules as that in Sollas's section (which has been examined by the writers), 
but more usually forms coarse poorly defined bands of material that has been partially 
granulated and then recrystallized. 

A gneissose dioritic rock (W 12) from West Creek, near the " Nine-mile Ferry " 
shows abundant coarse crystals of epidote and a curious metasomatic silicification of 
original plagioclase indicated by the plates of replacing quartz exhibiting striations 

* " Description of some Eruptive Rocks from the Neighbourhood of Westport, New Zealand." Trans. 
Geol. Soc. of Australasia, vol. i, pt. 4, 1890, pp. 108-9. 

t " The Eruptive Rocks of New Zealand." Jour, and Proc. Roy. Soc. of N.S.W., vol. xxiii, 1889, p. 113. 

X Op. cit. (Trans. Geol. Soc. of Australasia), pp. 107-8. 

§ Sollas and McKay : " Rocks of Cape ColviUe Peninsula," vol. ii, 1906, p. 159. 

101 . 

that appear to be indicative of albite twinning. The epidote probably represents 
original hornblende, for what appears to be a basic portion of the rock in West Creek 
is an amphibole diorite, and contains coarse epidote as an alteration product (Section 
W 16). Another dioritic rock containing abundant granulated and recrystallized 
quartz in irregular mosaics constitutes a dyke intrusive into granite in Island Creek. 
Epidote occurrt abundantly as almost colourless non-pleochroic crystals, some of which 
are granular, whilst others are sharply idiomorphic. Biotite is the only original ferro- 
magnesian mineral present. 

Gneisses showing distinct, often contorted, bands of ^ in. to f in. thick, in which 
the leucocratic and melanocratic minerals are alternately segregated, outcrop in various 
parts of the southern portion of the subdivision, and may be seen typically developed 
at the mouth of the Waitakere River. These and similar occurrences possibly represent 
" lit par lit," or injection gneisses.* The banded gneisses are readily distinguished 
in the field from, the gneissose granites, although the latter show more or less definite 
banding in fipite of other variations in their macroscopic appearance. In all the 
gneissose granites biotite, feldspar, and quartz are prominent, the feldspar being often 
in rounded rhomb-shaped crystals, or " eyes," surrounded by a fine-grained mixture in 
which quartz and feldspar predominate. Pink garnets are occasionally, but not com- 
monly, present. Frequently associated with the gneissose rocks of the Paparoa Moun- 
tains are bands locally 20 ft. in width that consist almost entirely of biotite in soft 
flexible scales of small dimensions, and in several instances coincide with zones of 
intense shearing. In most cases there is a progressive increase in the proportion of 
biotite from the wall-rock towards the central portion of the band. These occurrences 
may represent either basic dykes or segregations in the original granite. On the sup- 
position that they were originally basic dykes it is probable that the biotite has been 
derived in large measure from amphibole, for several dioritic dykes in the neighbourhood 
illustrate this type of alteration. 

(3.) Quartz-porphyries. 

Acid intrusions broadly referable to quartz-porphyries are common in the sub- 
division, and vary in size from dykes a few feet in width to large masses of the nature 
of small laccoliths. The petrographical similarity of specimens from widely separated 
localities is striking. Macroscopically they often show a marked resemblance to fine- 
grained granites, but more usually they exhibit a dark, more or less glassy-looking 
matrix in which quartz and feldspar crystals of moderate size are prominent. A most 
characteristic and persistent feature is the occurrence of small angular inclusions of 
hornfels, which vary in size from microscopic fragments to zenoliths an inch or more 
in diameter, and may be numerous enough to give the rock the appearance of a breccia. 

Button has variously described several sections of these rocks as quartz-felsite,t 
liparite, and rhyolite.J Possibly the last-named rock does occur in the district, for 
boulders of a flow rock resembling rhyolite occur in Mount William Creek. 

Essentially the quartz-porphyries are highly porphyritic rocks in whicli coarse 
abundant phenocrysts of quartz, feldspar, and biotite are enwrapped by a fine-grained 
to cryptocrystalline groundmass of quartz, biotite, and possibly feldspar. The differ- 
ences exhibited are in the textui'e and structui'c of the groundmass, in tlic relative 
proportions of the phenocrysts to the matrix and to one another, and to a less extent 
in the degree of idiomorphism shown by the porphyritic minerals. 

* In this connection may be cited an article by Clarence N. Fonner, '" TIh' .Mode of l<\)iina(iou of Certain 
Gneisses in the Highlands of New Jer.sey," in the founml of Geoloqy, Nos. (i and 7, vol. xxii. I !)! 4, no. r)i)4-(ir2. 
and 694-702. " j .>j 

top. cit. (Jour, and Piw. Roy. Soc. of N.S.W.), pp. 114, 1 15. 

I Op. cit. (Trans. Geol. Soc. of Australasia), pp. 10!), 110. 


Besides the minerals already mentioned, subsidiary zircon, apatite, and iron-oxides, 
with secondary sericite, pyxite, quartz, chlorite, and carbonate, may also be present. 
In one or two sections leucoxene is abundant. Primary muscovite is practically absent. 
The structure of the groundmass is felsitic, micropoecilitic, microcrystalline, or finely 
microgranitic, and accordingly the rocks may often be termed granite-porphyries, or 

Both quartz and feldspar phenocrysts may either be much corroded or sharply 
idiomorphic. The quartz is extremely abundant, is frequently very coarse, and usually 
contains bands of liquid inclusions. The feldspars — orthoclase, oligoclase, or acid-andesine 
and occasional probable anorthoclase (W 35) — -vary widely in their mutual proportions. 
The biotite is a purplish-brown variety which alters similarly to the .biotite of the 
granites, although separation of rutile needles is much less commonly seen. Pressure is 
often evidenced by shadow-extinction of quartz crystals, and by broken or bent lamellae 
of mica. 

(4.) Pegmatites and Aplites. 

The pegmatites of this section are coarse-grained granitic rocks occurring as dykes 
in the massive granites or gneisses, and less commonly in the older sedimentaries. 
They consist essentially of the same minerals as the granite. 

Some of the pegmatites have an exceedingly coarse texture, and this is particularly 
the case with that of the Charleston Mica-mine, where orthoclase crystals, some sharply 
idiomorphic, were observed up to IJ ft. in diameter. The mica of the pegmatites is 
mainly or wholly muscovite. In the Charleston mine some of the plates attain a 
diameter of 10 in. or more, but unfortunately the brittle and broken natui'e of much of 
the mineral detracts considerably from its commercial value. Other featm'es of the 
Charleston dyke rock are the abundance and perfection of graphic intergrowths of 
quartz and feldspar, together with the presence of pink garnet in moderate quantity. 
It also contains a soft scaly micaceous mineral of a pale-greenish tint, which may be 
of secondary origin. 

In the pegmatite boulders of Pensini Creek and the middle Mackley tributaries. 
Plateau and Tiger creeks, tourmaline is tolerably abundant ; in the former locality 
garnet is also a common constituent. 

Only one aplite dyke (W 68) was specially noted, and this happened to be just 
outside the eastern boundary of the subdivision. It outcrops on the old inland road 
to Karamea immediately north of Hodges Creek, and on microscopic examination was 
found to be an aplite-porphyry, constituted by a microgranular groundmass of quartz, 
cryptoperthite, and a little muscovite, containing a few large phenocrysts of crypto- 


(5.) Syenites. 

A hornblende-syenite from near the coast, 16J miles north of Westport, has been 
described by Hutton, and is stated by him to contain epidote in veins and also in the 
hornblende.* On account of the rarity of syenites in New Zealand this occurrence has 
considerable interest. 

Basic boulders (W 9) from the head of Stony Creek, Waimangaroa, are similar 
to the rock described by Hutton. The macroscopic characters are like those of the 
diorites described in the next section, but quartz and orthoclase are plentiful, whilst 
plagioclase (andesine) is present but unimportant. Ferro-magnesian minerals — pleochroic 
green hornblende and biotite — constitute about one-half of the rock. The hornblende 
is idiomorphic and very abundant. It shows alteration either to -a fibrous serpentine 
with plentiful carbonate, or less commonly to a fibrous amphibole resembling actinolite.f 

* Op. cit. (Trans. Geol. Soo. of Australasia), pp. 110-11, 
t See footnote on next page. 


The quartz and orthoclase form large conspicuous plates completely enwrapping the 
ferro-magnesian and earlier minerals. 

(6.) Quartz-diorites arid Diorites. 

Quartz-diorites and diorites are very commonly found as boulders in the stream- 
beds of the subdivision. Several irregular dykes and other larger intrusive bodies, all 
of a uniform petrographical character, have been found in the granites and gneissoid 
rocks of various localities. These are — Branch of T 35 Creek, Ngakawau Survey Dis- 
trict ; Mackley River above Mossy Creek junction ; Slug Creek, a tributary of Pensini 
Creek ; Three-mile Creek, north of Mokihinui Eiver ; New Inland Karamea Road, near 
the head of Stillwater Creek. As previously noted, gneissic diorites also outcrop in ■ 
West and Island creeks. 

The only published description of a diorite from the Wcstport district is Hutton's 
record of a biotite-hornblende type forming a dyke in granite west of the Ohikaiti 
bridge, Buller Gorge.* In another paper, written at an earlier date, but published 
later, he called the same rock a " typical tonalite."j" 

Macroscopically the diorites are coarse-grained dark-green rocks showing abundant 
amphibole. The microscope shows that the ferro-magnesian minerals — ^amphibole and 
biotite — are subsequent to the leucocratic constituents. Plagioclase is the other essential 
mineral, whilst quartz appears more or less abundantly in the quartz-diorites. Ortho- 
clase may be present, but is seldom in important amount. Subsidiary minerals are 
apatite, sphene, iron-oxides, and zircon. Of secondary constituents, chlorite and 
sericite are almost universal, whilst tremolite, rutile, talc, actinolite, carbonate, iron- 
oxides, and epidote are occasionally present. 

The deep-brown pleochroic biotite is probably in part primary, but has largely 
been derived from amphibole — a fact illustrated conclusively by many of the hornblende 
crystals which show the alteration progressing fi'om numerous loci in each crj^stal, with 
secondary biotite flakes forming parallel to one another. 

The plagioclase varies from oligoclase to acid-labradorite. The hornblende is a 
strongly pleochroic bluish-green or dark grass-green variety. Commonly it forms large 
pcecilitic plates enclosing numerous rounded crystals of feldspar and small prisms of 
apatite. Its usual alteration products are tremoliti^ or talc, or chlorite with some 
separation of iron-oxides, whilst in a few instances a pale actinolite seems to result. J 
Sphene, well seen in sections W 83 and W 84, is there associated with iron-oxides, 
and may be secondaiy. Rutile is present with chlorite as an alteration product of 
biotite, and m a few sections is associated with iron-oxides. 

A porphyritic hornblende-biotite I'ock (W 47) found in Slug Creek, though shown by 
chemical analysis (No. 7, page 105), to be a diorite, exhibits in section strong resemblances 
to the monzonites.§ Phenocrysts of feldspai', amphibole, pyrite, and occasionally biotite 
are recognizable in the hand-specimen, and appear in section enclosed in a moderately 
fine even-grained groundmass of pseudo-granular feldspar, a little quartz, and numerous 
small flakes of biotite. Plagioclase is present, but is subordinate to orthoclase usually 
present as corroded crystals. The perfect zonal structuie exhibited by many of the 
feldspar crystals suggests the presence of soda-oi'thoclase. Amphibole is in h)ng 
irregular prisms, and alters to epidote or chlorite. 

* Op. cit. (Trans. Roy. Soc. of N.S.W.), p. 128. 

t 0/j. ril. (Trans. Gool. Soc. of Australasia), p. 110. 

X Analogous alteration of horublcndo to actinolite and laic lias hwn uoti'il by li. K. N. ^Vylli(^ and A. Soott 
in doinitic rocks from (Jarabal Hill, near Looli Lomond, Scotland. " I'liitonics of tiai'alial Hill," Geologioal 
Magazine, Dec. v, vol. x, lid:}, p. 500. 

§ J. A. IJartrum in "" Some Intrusive Rocks from tbo \Ve<t()ort District," Trans., vol. xl\ i. 101 1, (>. 2()(), 
describes the rock in tlic absence of chemical analysis as a syenite porphyry. 


An interesting rock (W 82) from the Mackley River above Mossy Creek junction 
resembles the other diorites in many respects, but contains abundant spongy bluish- 
green to pale-yellowish amphibole, considered by Dr. J. A. Thomson, who has examined 
the section, to be similar to the amphibole of contact-altered amphibolites in Western 
Australia.* The Mackley rock, it may be added, occurs as a dyke-like member of a 
complex of highly altered igneous and possibly sedimentary rocks. (See also page 58.) 
An analysis (No. 9) is given in the table on the next page. 

The structural characters in the various members of the diorite series are moderately 
constant, and the texture is invariably coarse. The amphibole usually presents 
idiomorphic outlines to large enwrapping plates of quartz or feldspar. In one sec- 
tion (W 23) where coarse plates of hornblende enwrap rounded feldspars an excellent 
example of true ophitic structure is furnished. 

(7.) Dolerite. 

A dolerite of a type very different from that to be presently described, and, as 
judged by the description, probably related to the camptonites, has been recorded 
by Hutton as occurring near Lyell,f not far outside the boundary of the subdivision. 

The dolerite (W 20 and W21) noted by the writers was found as boulders amongst 
greywacke debris on the New Inland Karamea Road a little north of the Six-mile 
Creek crossing. It is a dark-green diorite-like rock showing small feldspar laths in 
abundance on partially weathered surfaces. It is holocrystalline, moderately coarse, 
and characterized by perfect ophitic structure, wherein abundant long, stout, andesine 
laths are enwrapped and partially enclosed by pale-violet augite, which is more or less 
uralitized, and is very sharply limited by the edges of the feldspar laths. Iron-ore, 
chiefly ilmenite, and secondary carbonates, chlorite, and biotite are abundant. The 
uralite alters to chlorite, with small flakes of biotite. Some of the chlorite present 
is a direct alteration product of augite. 

II. Lamprophyres. 

Lamprophyric rocks have been found within the Blackwater River watershed, 
where in the form of dykes they intrude granite and the basal breccias of the 
bituminous coal-measures. Considerable interest attaches to this discovery, for they are 
allied to similar rocks in Westland,J and furnish some data for determining the age 
of the whole lamprophyric series. So far as known these rocks do not occur in the 
higher beds of the Eocene coal-measures, and therefore the time of intrusion is 
probably confined to a comparatively brief geological period — the early Eocene.§ 

The types present in the Westport district are camptonite and monchiquite. 
Several dykes of the former were observed during the survey of the Blackwater River 
and its tributary Haggard Creek. Boulders of monchiquite were found in Rider 
Creek, a branch of Haggard Creek, whilst the same rock forms part of a dyke that 
occurs near the mouth of Haggard Creek, and in different portions of its outcrop 
varies in type from camptonite to glassy monchiquite, and may therefore be classed 
as a monchiquite-camptonite dyke. 

The essential minerals of the lamprophyres, all sharply idiomorphic, are violet 
pleochroic augite (doubtless titaniferous) in great abundance, olivine in large phenocrysts, 
deep-brown hornblende (barkevikite), iron-ore, and a variable but in all sections small 

* Personal communication. 

t " Note on the Geilogj' of the Country around Lyell." Trans., vol. xxii, 1890, pp. 387-90. 

t N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 1, 1906, pp. 82-84 ; Bull. No. 6, 1908, p. 139 ; BuU. No. 13, 1911, pp. 80, 81. J. P. 
Smith : " Some Alkaline and Nepheline Rocks from Westland." Trans., vol. xl, 1908, pp. 122-37. 

§ Near Blackball lamprophvric pebbles occur in a conglomerate at the base of the Brunner beds near 
Blackball. See N.Z.G.S. BuU. No. 13, 1911, p. 58, and also this bulletin, p .73. 

Plate XTX. 

1. DoLERiTE, New Inland Karamea Road. (See page 104.) 

2. MoNCHiQuiTE, Rider Creek. The Larger Lihht-coloured Crystals are Pilite. 

(See page 106.) 

.3. Houji-Gr,ASs A.uaTTE in Lampropiiyrk (Monohiquitr), near Mouth ok llAnoAin) Chhkk. 


Magnification ol' all Figures about 27 Diiimeters. 

Geol. Ball. No. 17.'] 

[To fact page 10^. 



1 t-^OOOOOiOOO«DiOT— 1 -^o 
; 00r-iC0i0Ot~<M^OO(N~C>'* 

1 Ir- 1 — 1 










1 — 1 

t~OC0-:tit-Oi— lOiOOOO OS 
i:05prpi>-Oas(«C;-ai'X>cOrH o 

-;tH T— 1 r-H 




10. j 11. 



L . - - - - 

CO ^ 



I— 1 



1 — 1 


0^0-*iOO— <OOOOOiOGOOC<l 



iot~ooiot--*oooot~coin in 

CpCpO^Op-sHOSlOlOr-HT;:. op 

1 — 1 


>ocoooo<M»na50^c^ooo cm 
(Nir5c<)cppqjr-ir^t;-cpin'+ as 

^HCDi— icOO--H(Ac<IfOOOO i-H 
CD ^ 



1 — ( 

iOI:~<MtD«50C^'— iCOtOOO (MOO 









CO T— f ^ 







lOai<Mt^rHOOtl^Ht-(MlO OlO 


^H 1 


T— 1 







1 — 1 














4i -P 



amount of plagioclase, which approximates to andesine. The olivine is abundant, and 
in the camptonite is entirely converted into iddingsite, or in some cases into carbonates, 
whilst in the monchiquite it is altered to pilite (tremolite and talc). 

Porphyritic and non-porphyritic types are represented by the various specimens 
collected. The only porphyritic mineral, augite, commonly occurs in glomero-porphy- 
ritic phenocrysts, showing excellent " hour-glass " structure, or in stumpy crystals, so 
abundant that in some instances it constitutes almost one-half of the rock. Horn- 
blende is solely in small, slender, cigar-shaped prisms, enclosed by the clear feldspathic 
groundmass or glassy base, in which indeterminate acicular crystallites occur. In 
one section some rounded forms of clear isotropic substance may represent a feld- 
spathoid mineral. Iron-ore, largely magnetite, often forms phenocrysts showing an internal 
zone of ilmenite which has boundaries parallel to those of the periphery, and is made 
prominent by alteration to leucoxene. 

In the monchiquite from Rider Creek gravels the only differences from the 
porphyritic type of camptonite are that the olivine is altered to pilite, that the brown 
hornblende commonly forms terminal outgrowths to the augite prisms, and that the 
clear base, instead of being feldspar, is a glass in which numerous crystallites appear. 
Green hornblende seems to be represented among these, and, after staining, minute 
feldspar needles may also be distinguished. 

From the association of the lamprophyric rocks with granite, which, however, is 
of considerably earlier date, it would seem that they should be classed with the 
spessartites. On the other hand, the mineralogical characters agree so closely with 
those of camptonites as defined by Rosenbusch* that such a classification cannot 
reasonably be adopted. 

The rocks of which analyses are given in the table on page 105 are as follows : — 









Granite or gneissose granite. Cape Foidwind (W 49). 

Coarse-grained granite on track to Mokihinui Reefs (W 66). 

Aplite, Old Karamea Inland Road (track), (W 68). 

Quartz-porphyry, Waimangaroa River. 

Quartz-porphyry, with fragments of sedimentary rock, Burnett's Face (W 86). 

Granodiorite on track to Mokihinui Reefs (W 65). 

Diorite (near monzonite), Slug Creek (W 47). 

Diorite near head of Stillwater Creek, New Karamea Inland Road (W 23). 

Diorite, Mackley River above Mossy Creek junction (W 82). 

Camptonite dyke in Hawk's Crag breccia, Blackwater River (W 44). 

Camptonite dyke in granite, Blackwater River (W 43). 

Camptonite dyke near mouth of Haggard Creek (W 41 and W 42). 

Pegmatite, Charleston Mica-mine. 

Pegmatite with tourmaline, Pensini Creek. 

Chemical Relationshifs. 
A study of the analyses 1 to 12 included in the preceding table shows that all 
the rocks fall into two main classes — one of intermediate to acid types, and the 
other of distinctly basic facies. In the latter of these two classes the alumina and 
lime percentages are high. In the camptonites, represented by analyses 10, 11, and 12, 
lime and alumina are probably present in important amount in the dominating highly 
titaniferous augite. The Mackley River diorite (analysis 9), mentioned on page 104, 
in the quantitative chemical classification falls into the same sub-rang as two of the 
camptonites. It differs mainly in its higher magnesium and much lower titanium con- 
tent. This latter feature, however, is not usual in the diorites of the district, which as 

* " Mikroskopische Physiographie der Massigen Gesteine," Halite I, 1907, pp. 684 et seq. 


a rule contain more or less abundant sphene and minute rutile needles. Analysis 8 
is representative of a rock that is considered typical of the diorites petrographically 
examined, whilst analysis 7 is that of a type closely approaching the monzonites in 
mineralogical characters (see page 103). 

The diorites and camptonites as seen in the field are closely associated with the 
granite bosses, whilst the granodiorite exemplified by analysis 6 shows the presence of 
connecting links between the diorites and granites. From these facts and from the 
chemical characters of the series it may be safely concluded that the intermediate and 
basic rocks are normal in their occurrence and are differentiation products of the main 
granitic magma. 

In the following table the norms and corresponding classifications of the igneous rocks 
(Analyses 1 to 12) are given, together with classification symbols in abbreviated form.* 

Norms and Quantitative Classification. 















Orthoclase . . 





















Nepheline . . 

Corundum . . 
















Magnetite . . 















0-62 0-31 






J-(3) 4-1-3 1 l-4-l-3'(4) 


I-4-2-3 (4) 



Liparose Liparose 





ysis. 7. 








































. . 






.. 1 12-22 





, . 


. , 



.. ! 1-85 














.., 1-24 







1 . . n-4-3-4 



11-5-4-3 (4) 








although falling 

The granites from Cape Foulwind and Mokiliinui (Nos. 1 and 2) 
into different orders in the classification, are closely related. Similarly the camptonite 
from Blackwater Eiver (No. 10) would probably accord in sub-rang with the other 
camptonites were it not for the noteworthy alteration of the sample analysed 

* The reader will find examples of the use of full symbols in J. P. Iddings, " Igneous Rooks," vol. ii, 
1913, and in paj)(>rs by other originators of the quantitative classification — c.ij., H. S. Washington, "Some 
Lavas of Monte Avci, fSardinia " (Atu. .loui-. Sci. — I'^ouith Series, \o\. xxxvi, No. 216. Dec, 1913, pp. 
579-590) and "The V'oleano(>.s and Rocks of I'anteileria " (.Journal of Geologj', vol. xxi, 1913, pp. 663-70, 
683-713, and vol. xxii, 1911, pp. Ui-27). 





. 109 

Metalliferous Quartz Veins 

. 109 

Origin of Metalliferous Quartz Veins 

. 112 

Prospecting for Metalliferous Lodes 

. 112 

Auriferous AUuvial Deposits . . 

. 112 

^I. Early Tertiary (Coal-measure) Co 


glomerates and Breccias 

. 112 

11. Pleistocene Alluvial Deposits 

. 113 

(a.) Morainic and Fluvio-glaci 



. 113 

(6.) Muviatile Gravels and San 


(including Semi - residu 



. 113 

(c.) Marine Gravels and San 


(Raised Beaches) 

. 114 

111. Recent Deposits 

. 117 

{a.) riuviatUe Gravels and Sane 

is 117 

(6.) Marine Gravels and Sands 

. 119 

Unworked Auriferous Gravels and San 

ds 119 

Character and Quality of Alluvial Go 

Id 120 

Source of Alluvial Gold 

. 120 

Minor Alluvial Deposits 

. 122 

Platinum and Osmiridium 

. 122 

Stream- tin 

. 122 


. 123 


. 123 


. 123 


. 124 

Miscellaneous Economic Minerals 

. 126 

Building-stones, &c. . . 

. 126 


. 126 

Road-making Material 

. 126 

Limestones suitable for the Manufacture 


Lime and Cement 

. 127 

Eocene Limestones 

. 127 

Miocene Limestones 

. 127 

Analyses . . 

. 128 

Clays and Claystones 

. 128 

Fireclays . . 

. 129 

Analyses . . 

. 129 

Testing clays, &c. . . 

. 129 


. 130 

I. Bituminous or Huniic Coal 

. 130 

General Description . . 

. 130 

Coal-seams . . 

. 131 

Roof and Floor 

. 131 

Physical Characters . . 

. 131 


. 132 

Ultimate Analyses . - 

. 133 

Proximate Analyses 

. 134 

Sulphur . . 

. 138 

Inflammability of Dust 

. 140 

Influence of Weathering on Con 


position and Physical Oh 



. 140 

Origin of Bituminous Coal 

. 141 

Detafled Description of Ou 


crops, &c. 

. 142 

(1.) SeddonviUe - Mokihin 



. 142 

(2.) Charming Creek Area 

. 147 

(3.) Blackburn Area 

. 150 

(4.) Mackley or Orilcaka Va 



. 152 

Co al — continued. 

I. Bituminous or Humic Coal — con- 
Detailed Description of Out- 
crops, &o. — continued. 
(5.) Valleys of Granity, Mine, 
and Mangatini Creeks, 
or MiUerton-Darling- 
ton-Mangatini Area . . 
(6.) Fly Creek, Plover Creek, 
and Upper St. Patrick 
(or " South Branch") 
(7.) Upper Waimangaroa 

(8.) Denniston-Casoade Creek 

(9.) Lower M'^aimangaroa 
(10.) Mount Roohfort Area .. 
(11.) Northern Part of Mount 
William Raiige and 
Head of Erin Creek 
(12.) Central and Southern 
Parts of Mount Wil- 
liam Range 
(13.) Omanu (Back) Creek or 
Moran's Water - race 
Coke and Briquettes . . 
II. Brown Coal and Lignite . . 
General Description . . 
Physical Characters . . 
Chemical Composition 

Analyses . . 

Detafled Description of Out- 
crops . . 
(1.) Charleston District 
(2.) Cape Foulwind and Tau- 

ranga Bay 
(3.) Thin Seams near Hawk'; 

(4.) Blackwater Valley 
(5^) Pensini Creek Watershed 
(6.) Blue Duck Creek 

" Rolls " . . 
" SwaUows " 
Coal in Ground 

I. Bituminous Coal 

Former Estimates 
Comment on Hector's Esti 

mates . . 
Estimates of Present Survey . 
Extractable Bituminous Coal 
II. Brown Coal and Lignite 
Coal-prospecting^ — -Bores, &c. 
Recommendations re Prospecting 
Westport Flats . . 
Brown- coal and Lignite Areas 
Water-resources . . . . 

Summary of Economic Geology 















On the following pages the mineral resources of the BuUer-Mokihinui Subdivision will 
be described as fully as circumstances permit. To some extent desirable data could 
not be obtained, either because records were wanting, as in connection with the alluvial 
gold-mines, or because the time available to tlie authors and considerations of expense 
did not always permit them to make an exhaustive search, as, for example, in the 
remoter portions of the district. The subdivision contains various materials, such 
as clay and building-stone, which are not of any great value at the present time, 
but may become very important in the future. These, together with the auriferous 
qnartii veins, alluvial-gold deposits, and othei' mineral occvirrences, will be given as 
much attention as their present conseqvience demands, but the greater part oi this 
chapter will naturally be devoted to the pre-eminent mineral asset of the district — 
namely, its coal. 

Mbtallipbrous Quartz Veins. 

In most localities where Aorere greywackes and argillites (the " slates " of the 
miner) outcrop, quartz veins, usually of no great thiclvness, and almost invariably 
of a lenticular character, are fairly numerous. The quartz, except for a moderate 
amount of staining by oxides of iron, generally shows slight evidence of tlie presence 
of metallic minerals. On close inspection a little pyrite and occasionally other 
sulphides may be seen. Gold is the only constituent of economic importance hitherto 
found, but i| not invariably present, for in many cases it cannot be detected by pan- 
ning tests, or even by careful fire assay, and, though richly aui'iferous patches have 
been found, and good returns obtained for a time, no really profitable mine has been 
developed in the subdivision. 

The quartz veins are nearly all bedded deposits — that is, they strike and dip 
with the country, which usually consists of fine-grained greywacke and argillite, the 
coarser-grained rocks being apparently not favourable for lode-formation. 

The best-known lodes occur in the watershed of Stony Creek, near Waimangaroa, 
where the Great Republic and Britannia companies at one time worked various 
lenticulai but in places rich veins.* The lode mined by the former company between 
1882 and 1885 varied in thickness from 3 ft. at the north end to 7 ft. at the south. 
On the north side of the Britannia Creek, according to an old report, it dipped west- 
ward at 45°, and on the soiith side eastward at a similar inclination.! The country 
was very loose and broken. Ultimately the lode became unprofitable, biit another was 
found, and worked for a short time with fairly good results, tiiough it appears to 
have been very loose and rvibbly. The Britannia Company worked a number of 
lenticular veins, which were rich, but too small to enable large profits to be made. 
They were as a rule from 6 in. to 3 ft. wide, though in 1901 a body of stone 4 ft. to 
5 ft. thick was discovered.! The Bi-itnnnia veins are said to have had in general 
a flat dip, or, rather, to have consisted of a succession of flat lenticular bodies, 
joined by steeply dipping threads of quartz. § The quartz in these lenses was in all 
cases broken into comparatively small pieces. It is now impossible to investigate 
the structural conditions of the Stony Creek lodes, but from the description given 
by H. A. Gordon it would seem that tlie lenses of ore were separated by faults more 
or less contemporaneous Avith the period of ore-formation. There is no record of 
any mineral other than gold in the quartz, but from a reference to concentrates in 

* See also Chapter [ I . 

t Mines Report. V.~ic, 1886, p. 1.3. (Report hv Mr. 0. T. Binns, lii.spoctor of Minos. ) 

t Minos Report, C.-3, in02, p. .53. 

S See accoimt l)y H. A. Gordon in Mines Report, (l.-.'l, 18<I8. p. 90. 


the Mines Report of 1907, page 26, it may be inferred that pyrite and possibly other 
sulphides were jsresent. 

The country in which the Great Kepublic and Britannia veins are situated is 
fine-grained greywacke and argillite of greenish to bluish tints, for the most part 
much crushed and faulted. It is undei'lain, perhaps at no great depth, by granite, 
a mass of which outcrops to the northward of Britannia Creek, and, as will be seen 
on inspecting the map of Kawatiri Survey District, is traversed by apophyses and 
dykes of granite and quartu-porpliyi'y, one of which was encountered in No. 6 level 
of the Britannia Mine, and apparently cut off the lode being worked.* 

In the Waimangaroa Gorge, not far above Conn's Creek, and about three- 
quarters of a mi^^e north-west of Denniston, is the Beaconsfield reef, mentioned in 
Chapter II. Tlie lode is stated to be from 1ft. to 4 ft. wide, to cross the country 
(greywacke of fine to medium grain) at an angle, and to liave well-defined walls. The 
quartz, as judged from broken material lying near the old battery, is somewhat glassy, 
and contains a E.mall quantit}- of some chloritic mineral. 

Not quite a mile south of Denniston a small lenticular vein is exposed in an 
outcrop of fine-grained greywacl^e surrounded on all sides by coal-measure grit. As 
stated in Chapter II, this locality was prospected in 1887 and 1888 by the Den- 
niston Quartz-mining Company, wliich found several auriferous leaders carrying 
pyrite, but no lode of any size. The shaft passes through a few feet of grit 
and then enters greywacke, but, being nearly full of water, cannot be descended. The 
tip shows some viti-eous quartz, iron-stained on the joiiit surfaces. 

In Cascade Creek valley are several quartz veins, which were prospected for gold 
about 1897 and at other times with unfavovirable results. The only woi'king seen bj^ 
members of the Geological S\irvey party is a drift on tiie west side of the sti'eam nearly 
a mile and a half below Y 37 Creek junction at a point wliere the elevation above 
sea-level is a little over 500 ft. The country consists of greywacke and hornfels, but 
quartz-porphyry and granite are to be found not far to the west. 

Near Burnett's Face a bedded quartz vein outcrops in a most accessible position 
on the side of the road to Kiwi Compressor, but has not been tested by driving, 
probably because panning tests have not given any promise of profitable results. The 
enclosing rock is a greenish argilUte ("slate") striking about 260°, and dipping at 
35° to 45° to the east of north. 

In Stevenson Creek, a tributary of the Mackley, which has its sources near Cedar 
Creek Saddle, are several weU-defined veins of white vitreous quartz from less than 
1 ft. to 2 ft. in width. Two of these, about three-quarters of a mile from the mouth 
of the creek, apparently cross the bedding-planes of the enclosing greywacke. They 
strike 247°, and dip at 85° to the east of south. In addition one or two 
small irregular veins and lenses outcrop in the creek-bed not fai; away. A sample 
of the largest vein (2 ft.) when assayed was found to contain no gold. Three 
bands of quartz towards the head of the creek are probably bedded, and strike nearlj- 
east and west. 

In the vallej- of New Creek, just outside the south-eastern boundary of Ori- 
kaka Survej^ District, are several quartz lodes from 18 in. to 10 ft. wide, some of 
which were discovered and prospected over thirty years ago. The Victory lode, the 
most promising of these occurrences, is outside the area mapped, and was not visited 
by either of the writers. It is reported to yield good assays, but to be small, and 
in very hard country.! The somewhat rare mineral loUingitef occurs sparingly as 

* Mines Report, C.-3, 1907, p, 26, and 1908, p. 24. 

t Mines Report, C.-2, 1912, p. 26. 

J Identified by the Dominion Laboratory. 


small nests of very slender needles in the quartz. In Tichborne Creek the country 
enclosing the lodes tested by the Victor Emmanuel and Tichborne companies consists 
of hornfels and knotted scliist tiaversed by granitic dykes. 'flie hornfels and schist 
are considered by the writers to behmg to the Aorere Series, and have been so 
mapped. They are doubtless continuous with the similar auriferous rocks nearer 
Lyell, which McKay* regards as " schistose rocks of unknown age " (possibly 
Silurian), whilst Hutton considers them to be Maitai rocks of probable Carboniferous 
age,t and Finlayson| correlates them with tlie auriferous rocks at Reefton. Park§ 
accordingly places them in the Wangapeka Series, of Silurian age. Further 
remarks bearing on the questions of correlation and age will be found in Chapter V, 
on page 68. 

In Chapter II (page 29) reference was made to the auriferous veins at Seatonville 
(Mokihinui Reefs), some miles outside the subdivision. The ore-bodies here are for 
the most part small lenticular veins confoiming to tlie bedding or foliation of the 
countrj^ll which is pi'obably schistose greywacke oj' hornfels, and in places is very 
hard. The Swastika Gold-mines (Limited) is now developing several small veins, 
and, in addition, a comparatively large body of quartz, which had been neglected 
in previous years. 

The Inspector of Mines (Mr. T. 0. Bishop) in his report for 1912 thus refers 
to the Swastika property: "On the steep hillside south of the Mokihinui River 
there are several small leaders in liard greywacke country which have been worked 
intermittently for many years, and have jDroved just about good euough to keep a 
working-jaartj- of men. About 100 ft. lower down tlie hill, and probably connected 
with these leaders, there is an outcrop of quartz about 20 ft. wide and 30 ft. deep — 
hard, glassy, bluish quartz. A sample of quartz carefully taken by me right across 
the face of the drive on the big reef on the lOtli March, 1913, and representing 
a width of 5ft., assayed 1 dwt. 8'4gr. (value, os. 2^d.) gold per ton. If the 
large outcrop was traced down the hill and opened out at two levels — say, 100 ft. 
and 200 ft. below tlie present drive on the cap — its value or otherwise could be 
easily and clieaply proved."** 

The rocks enclosing the Mokihinui lodes seem to be continuous with the similar 
rocks of the Lyell-New Creek district. They doubtless belong to the saiiie rock-series, 
and are therefore of the same geological age. 

In the gneissic and granitic rocks of the subdivision there are a. few small 
veins, none of which are known to liave any metalliferous content of economic 
value. It is decidedly disappointing to find that tin, molybdenum, and other metals 
commonly associated Avith granitic rocks, so far as known are either absent or 
present only in small quantities of no commercial importance. 

In addition to gold, copper, lead, antimony, and possibly tin, have been 
reported from lodes in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision. References to these occur- 
rences will be found in the list of minerals at the end of this bulletin. 

* On the Geology of the Reefton District, Inangahua County. " O.S. Rep. during 1882 No 15 1883 
pp. 101, 102. 

t " On the Granites and Associated Rocks of the Upper Buller River, New Zealand." Trans. Geo). 
See. of Au.stralasia, vol. i, pt. iv, 1890, p 100. See also " Notes on the Geology of the Country about Lvell." 
Trans., vol. xxiii, 1890, pp. 387-90. 

J " The Geology of the Reefton Gold-veins." Trans., vol. xli, 1909, p. 89. 

§ " The Geology of Now Zealand," 1910, pp. 29, 371. 

Jl H. A. Gordon : Mines Report, C.-5, 1888, p. 35. 

** Mines Report, G.-2, 1913, p. 27. 


Origin of Metalliferous Quartz Veins. 

The quartz veins of the subdivision and adjoining areas were probably formed 
by hydro-thermal agencies succeeding the post-Ordovician granite and quartz-porphyry 
intrusions. It is somewhat surprising that the AVestport district, containing as it 
does considerable areas of ancient sedimentary rocks intruded by igneous rocks, should 
not be more richly metalliferous than is the case. A possible explanation of the 
scarcity of profitable auriferous veins is connected with the fact that the Aorere rocks 
now form a comparatively thin coat on underlying plutonic rocks. This, as well as 
other circumstances, points, to the removal by erosion of a great thickness of the 
ancient sedimentaries. Thus the upper and probably richer parts of the veins have 
been destroyed, and their gold-content scattered far and Avide, part, liowever, to be 
recovered from alluvial deposits. It need hardly be pointed out, moreover, that the 
auriferous rocks have been entirely removed from large areas by the denuding 
agencies of past periods. Such areas, being either anticlinal or consisting largely 
of the softer finer-grained greywackes and argillites, not improbably carried more 
and richer lodes than those that have not been eroded to so great an extent. The 
small but rich veins of Stony Creek give some indication of the lost possibilities. 

ITie scarcity of basic igneous rocks, which, found only as dykes in the granitic 
rocks and in the Hawk's Crag breccia, are not known to penetrate Aorere rocks any- 
where in the subdivision, may also explain to some extent the comparative poverty 
of the quartz veins in such metals as gold, silver, and copper. 

It is evident that the apparently unfavourable conditions for metalliferous 
deposits prevailing over the greater part of the area under consideration do not neces- 
sarily apply to adjoining areas — for example, Mokihinui Reefs and Lyell. These 
districts must be individually investigated before conclusions are drawn either to 
their advantage or their disadvantage. 

Prospecting for Metalliferous Lodes. 

Notwithstanding all that has been said, the Aorere rocks (" slates "), in con- 
sideration of their gold-bearing character, wherever they occur ought to be carefully 
prospected for auriferous quartz lodes. It should be noted that, except where they 
are cut off by granite or quartz-porphyry, the Aorere greywackes and argillites are 
continuous beneath younger sedimentary rocks. Thus they will be found at very 
moderate depths beneath the coal-measures from Denniston towards Mount William, 
and thence northwards towards and even beyond the headwaters of the Waimanga- 
roa. It is highly probable that if the coal-measures could be removed from this area 
auriferous veins would be exposed. 

In view of the occurrences of stream-tin in the district it is possible that careful 
prospecting in the Mackley watershed would reveal lodes carrying tinstone. It must 
be confessed, however, that the prospect of a profitable tin-mine being found is but 
small. Still less does there seem any hope that workable deposits of other metals 
such as copper, antimony, or lead will be discovered. 

Auriferous Alluvial Deposits. 


The basal conglomerates of the coal-measures in the Greymouth district are 
known to carrj- traces of gold,* and similar rocks in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivi- 
sion also contain a little gold, but nowhere, so far as known, in payable quantity. 
A small amount of gold won in the Blackwater River a mile or two above its junc- 

*[N.Z. G.S. BuU. No. 13, 19)1, pp. 86-87. 


tion is believed to liave its source in the Hawk's Crag breccia, which lias so exten- 
sive a development in the district. Piospectors, however, did not find any auriferous 
liorizon in this breccia nor yet any profitable modern alluvial deposit derived 
from it. In passing, reference may be made to tlie auriferous cement of Lanky's 
Gully, near Reefton, which is a basal conglomerate in the Oamaru (Miocene) Series, 
as a Tertiary deposit probably workable at a profit. In the breccia that occurs at 
the mouth of the Fox River, some miles south of the southern boundary of the sub- 
division, a little gold is said to be present, and McKay states that the breccias found 
on the western side of the Grey Valley are gold-bearing to some extent.* 


All alluvial deposits in the subdivision other than those forming part of the 
recent coastal and flood plains are here included under the heading of " Pleistocene 
Alluvial Deposits." Probably the range of age is moderately extensive, and in 
fact some of the higher raised terraces are considered by McKaj^ to extend back as 
far as Newer Pliocene, f 

The Pleistocene de^Dosits may be classified as — 
(a.) Morainic and fluvio-giacial material. 

(i.) Fluviatile gravels and sands (including semi-iesidual gravels), 
(c.) Marine gravels and sands (raised beaches). 

(a.) Morainic and Fluvio-giacial Material. 

There is very little glacial or fluvio-giacial material in the subdivision, and none 
of it is known to carry more than traces of gold. There is, therefore, nothing in 
the Westport district corresponding to the rich alluvial deposits of tlie Kumara and 
other goldfields in North Westland, which were formed at or near the edge of a pied- 
mont ice-sheet. That, however, a large glacier foinierly de])loyed on tlie lowlands 
at the foot of the Paparoa Range near Addison's is shown by the numerous large 
erratic boulders distributed over the coastal plain, and especially prominent in the 
old gold-workings. The rewash of the glacial gravels may have furnished a consider- 
able part of the gold found in the older fluviatile gravels and rai.sed beaches of the 

(h.) Fluviatile Graveh and Sands (inchi.ding Semi-residual Gravel x). 

The masses of gravel forming thick caps to the prominent high-level terraces of 
the Westport-Charleston district are considered to be largelj' of fluviatile origin, but 
this statement does not apply to the lower terraces. The most persistent and exten- 
sive of the high-level terraces, both north and south of the BuUer River, liave altitudes 
that vary between 450 ft. and 600 ft., and may be called the "500 ft." terraces. 
With these may be included a series of gravel-capped terraces rising to about the 
same heiglit and equally flat-topped, which occupy a large area inland of tlie pro- 
minent limestone ridge to the south of the Little Totara River. 

Gold is present in small amount tliroughout the whole of the high-level terrace 
gravels, and where there is local enrichment sluicing operations have been conducted. 
Thus deep gravels have been extensively worked on the "500 ft." terraces from the 
eastern or right bank of the BuUer to their jxiint of coalescence with the slopes of 

* " Gold-deposits of New Zealand " (reprinted from New Zealand Mines Record), 1903, p. 35. 
f " Geology of the South-west Part of Nelson and the Northern Part of tlic AVestland District." MinoB 
Report, C.-13,'l895, pp. 10 et seq. Second edition, 1807, pp. 44 ef seq. 

8— Buller-Mol£ihinui. 


Mount Rochfort near Fairdown, particulaiij near the head of German Gully, and 
again to the southward at McCann'is claim near Addison's. Were it not for the 
great expense of bringing in a sufficient supply of high-pressure Avater, the working 
of the high-level gravels on a more extensive scale would, without much doubt, prove a 
profitable undertaking. 

According to McKay,* in the gravels of the liigli-level terraces to the east of 
Addison's Flat black-sand leads are present, and thus a sea-beach origin for the 
basal portion of the gravel is indicated. The same feature is probably also present 
in the "500 ft." terraces north of the BuUer. Of this, however, the writers have 
no proof, since no sluicing of any consequence has been done on these terraces for 
some years, and no indication of the existence of black-sand layers is at present 

Much of the high-level terrace gravel was appa}-ently deposited near sea-level by 
streams from the neighbouring inland range; another portion, as already indicated, 
represents the rewash of earlier fluvio-glacial deposits. It is probable that several 
particulai'ly rich shallow diggings near the Four-mile and Six-mile creeks south of 
Charleston repi-esent local fluviatile rewash and concentration of earlier marine 

Inland but little auriferous material falls under the heading of Pleistocene 
fluviatile gravels. At Grainger's Point, in the Buller Gorge, half or three-quarters 
of a mile east of Berlin's, and thus somewhat outside the subdivision, the gravel 
worked a number of years ago was at a moderate height above the Buller River, 
and therefore may be regarded as of Pleistocene age. f With this may perhaps be 
grouped the terrace gravel between Frenchman and Cockney creeks, west of Berlin's. 

(c.) Marine Gravels and Sands (Raised Beaches). 

The marine gravels and sands of the coastal region, particularly south of the 
Buller, have yielded an enormous amount of gold. As inferred above, it is probable 
that the auriferous wash of German Gully and the Fairdown terraces also comes 
under this category, and, if so, all the alluvial deposits of the coastal i-egion worth 
mention are of marine origin. The chief localities where marine deposits of Pleis- 
tocene age have been worked are — North and south of Four-mile Creek ; Charleston 
and vicinity, including Candlelight, Back Terrace, and Brown's Terrace; Cronin- 
ville; Addison's and vicinity, including Virgin Flat and Wilson's Lead; Brad- 
shaw's; German Gully; Fairdown; and Whareatea Creek. In addition some 
attempt has been made to work a marine deposit containing black-sand and shells 
which occurs on a spur north of the Waimangaroa, whilst the alluvial gold of Dufty, 
Patten, and Chatterbox creeks, between Nikau and the Mokihinui, seems to be 
derived from an ancient beach. 

The bulk of the gold is concentrated in black-sand leads, and the remainder is 
distributed more or less patchily through the accompanying material, which consists 
of beach shingle, mixed with a varying amount of sea-sand. The shingle-contents 
are mainly grey granite and greywacke, the former rock predominating. The over- 
lying river gravel, if present, is barren, or almost so, unless it happens to be a 
rewash of marine material. Where, as near Charleston, the black-sand layers are 
overlain by marine material only, the cover does not usually exceed 10 ft. to 15 ft. 
The shallowest ground is very often the richest. At Brown's Terrace, Croninville, 
Addison's Flat, Wilson's Lead, Bradshaw's, and German GuUv there are layers of 

* Op. cit., pp.|;8,"23. Second edition, 1897,^pp. 17,'52. 
t McKay, op. cit, p. 16. Second edition, 1897, p. 36. 


black-sand covered by froru 20 ft. to 70 ft. or more of poorly auriferous gravels and 

The black-sand layers lie on or in a series of terraces, rising to a height of 
nearly 600 ft. Of these, at least six have been worked for gold near Charleston. The 
leads themselves are more or less discontinuous — that is, lenticular — and have a linear 
arrangement parallel to the ancient shore-lines, which again Avere approximately 
parallel to the present coast. At Addison's Flat the main lead is that on which the 
present sluicing companies — the Shamrock, McKnight and party, and Carmody and 
party — are at work. It is close to the base of the "500 ft." terrace, and has a 
southerly extension to Croninville, whilst seaward of it at least three other lines of 
black-sand leads have been discovered, the chief of which are Wilson's and Brad- 
shaw's. The Addison's Flat lead is really a complex system of black-sand lenses, &c. 
It has been described by Gordon and McKay.* 

Concentrates from sluicing claims near Addison's have been analysed by the 
Dominion Laboratory, witli the following results : — 

SUica(SiO.,) .. .. 

Alumiua (Al^Os) 

Ferric oxide (Fe^Og) 

Ferrous oxide (FeO) 

Titanium-dioxide (TiOj) . . 

Lime (CaO) . . 

Magnesia (MgO) 

Chromic oxide (Gvfi.^) . . 

Zirconium-dioxide (ZrOa) 

Rare earths other than zirconia . . 

Alkalies and undetermined 

Total .. .. .. .. 99-75 10000 

1. Concentrate from McCann's sluicing- claim. No platinum, tin, or tungsten was 

2. Concentrate (black-sand) from the Shamrock Claim (new workings). The sample 
also contained: Platinum, 1 dwt. 21 gr. per ton; gold, 1 oz. 5 dwt. 20 gr. per ton. 
No tin or tungsten could be detected. The sample contained a considerable amount 
of iron-alumina garnet (almandine). 

3. Concentrate' from the plush tables. Shamrock Claim. No tin or tungsten could 
be detected. 

Wilson's lead extends northward from Wilson's Lead Road for about a mile and 
a half, and has been almost continuously worked for this distance. It lies along 
the base of a low terrace. At the northern end the old workings show 10 ft. 
of soft marine sandstone, resting on 10 ft. or more of slungly gravel (with sand), 
which again lies on Miocene claystone (Blue Bottom). Not much black-sand is 
visible here, but towards the southern end of the lead the upper 15 ft. consists of 
gravel and sand, with cemented but not continuous layers of black-sand. There is 
a short lead of about 70 chains westward of Wilson's lead, indicated by old work- 
ings and a cement-battery, concerning which nothing of importance has been ascer- 
tained. Like Wilson's lead, it lies at the foot of a low terrace. Virgin Flat lead 
is about two miles south-west of the worked part of Wilson's, and is eithei- a continuation 
of it or a contemporaneous deposit. 


Per Cent. 



Per Cent. 


Per Cent. 


( 3-60 

1 18-50 



















* " Mining Reserves, Westland and Nelson." Mines Report, C.-9, 1896, p. 8, 
t Iron-oxide calculated as ferrous oxide (FeO). 

8*— Buller-Mokihinui. • 


BradsLaw's lead extends from some di.scance east oi the little township of Brad- 
shaw's to Bnll's, a total distance of over two miles. It is not now continuous, 
being cut away east of the township hj Bradshaw Creek, and to the west of the 
township is crossed at a vei'v acute angle by a triljutary of Bradshaw Creek, 
which has eroded a somewhat wide valley and removed a good deal of the 
lead. As a matter of fact, portions of the lead are apparently unprofitable, 
and have not been worked. Unlike Wilson's and Addison's leads, Bradshaw's 
lead is on the top of a terrace, the surface of Avhich at the eastern extremity 
is about 90 ft. (or less) above sea-level. At the old workings only brown cemented 
sand, underlain by gravel, can now be seen. The claim near the township shows 
below the soil 10 ft. of gravel underlain by 10 ft. to 15 ft. of material in which 
sand predominates. Granite boulders 4 ft. to 5 ft., and in old workings to the 
east even 10 ft., in diameter may be seen resting on the bottom (Miocene clay- 
stone). To the south-westward of the township an old battei'y and the faces exposed 
in some old workings attest the presence of cemented auriferous black-sand, which 
seems to have formed a small lens in the Pleistocene sandstone extending over a 
large area in this neighbourhood. At Dennehy's claim, near Bull's, which may be 
regarded as on a continuation of Bradshaw's lead, the face being sluiced in 
November, 1912, showed 6 ft. of surface soil and clay, underlain by 10 ft. of 
grey sand with a few pebbles. The latter contained small lenses of black-sand, 
which, concentrated on a sliovel till nearly all the black-sand was removed and 
the residue was a gray zirconiferous sand, gave an excellent prospect of fine gold. 
The concentrated material on analysis 3a€lded 10 oz. 7 dwt. 22 gr. of gold and 
1 oz. 14 dwt. of silver per ton. It also contained: Zirconia (ZrO ), 10'68 per 
cent.; thoria (ThO^) 0"49 per cent.; other rare earths (mainly G€)-ia), TGS per cent. 
No platinum, wolfram, or tin was detected. The concentrate from the blanket tables 
(kindly supplied by Mr. Dennehy), after removal of gold by amalgamation, assayed 
6 dwt. 7 gr. gold and 1 dwt. 4gT. silver per ton. It also contained: Zirconia 
(ZrOg), 2'55 per cent.; thoria (ThOg), O^OO per cent.; other rare earths (mainly 
ceria), 0"22 per cent.; chromic oxide (CrOg), 0"50 per cent.; iron-oxide (FSgOa)' 
29"76 per cent.; -titanic oxide (TiO^), 26"32 per cent. No platinum, wolfram, or tin 
could be found. 

The presence of zircon, monazite, and chromite in these concentrates is note- 
worthy. Monazite in the Bradshaw's district was first detected by Mr. Sydney Fry, 
formerly Directoi' of the Westport School of Mines. The presence of chromite here 
and at Fairdown was ascertained in the Dominion Laboratory. 

Very little information is available concerning the auriferous marine deposits 
at Fairdown and Whareatea River. The old workings at Fairdown show that the 
greater part of the material sluiced was stream-gravel, largely derived from the 
slopes of Mount Rochfort, and therefore practically a fan deposit. Between this and 
the yellow Miocene sandstone which forms the bedrock there is, in some places at 
least, a la3^er of marine material. In this connection Mr. G. Wilson states that in 
the Fairdown Claim, situated at Christmas Terrace, the material sluiced consisted 
of 15 ft. to 30 ft. of marine sand and shingle, with varying proportions of magnetic 
and titanic sand, gem-sand, &c. The beach deposits were covered b}^ an overburden 
varying in depth from 20 ft. to 60 ft. of subangular coal-grit, sand, and boulders.* 
A sample of Fairdown concentrate obtained from an old alluvial miner (per Mr. 
J. M. Cadigan) consisted largely of black-sand (mainly ilmenite). This was divided by 
panning into two portions, of which the relative weights wert not taken, but the 

* Mines Report, C.-3, 1899, p. 107. 


heavier portion was about oiiti-tenth of the •whole. Tliese on being analysed gave 
the following interesting results : — 

(1.) Heavier Concentrate. (2.) Lighter Concentrate. 

Gold per ton . . . . 1 oz. 15 dwt. 14 gr. oz. 1 dwt. 13 gr. 

Silver per ton . . . . oz. 6 dwt. 7 gr. oz. dwt. 7 gr. 

Value per ton . . . . £7 2s. lid. £0 6s. 2d. 

Platinum per ton . . . . oz. 15 dwt. 17 gr. oz. dwt. 18 gr. 

Zirconia (ZrOj) • • . • 0-09 per cent. 0'03 per cent. 

Iron-oxide (FegOg) . . 46'24: per cent. 34-56 per cent. 

Titanic oxide (TiO,) . . 23-54 per cent. 13-31 per cent. 

Chromic oxide (CrgOg) . . 4-00 per cent. 3-00 per cent. 

(approximate). (approximate). 

No tungsten, tin, or rare earths could be found in the samples. 

As previoiisly mentioned, a very common feature of the black-sands exposed over 
considerable areas in the Charleston, Addison's Flat, and other districts is the firm 
cementing that has resulted from a further oxidation accompanied by partial hydra- 
tion of the original titaniferous magnetite or ilmenite. In consequence the material 
has assumed a brown colour, though on crushing and panning off more or less black- 
sand will be obtained. The gold is in part visibly coated with oxide of iron, and 
even when no coating is visible either lefuses to amalgamate or does so with diffi- 
culty. Such gold, known as " rusty gold," is supposed to be covered by a film of 
iron-hydroxide, which prevents contact of mercury with the gold, but it is not 
certain that this explanation of its refusal to amalgamate is conect.* Cementation 
to any great extent was not observed in the deeper black-sand leads. 


The deposits classed as Recent include, in the first place, the gravels and sands of 
the present streams, together with their flood-23lains and the lower terraces, and, 
secondly, the material forming the present sea-beach and the lower portions of the 
coastal plain. Thus the Recent auriferous deposits ujay conveniently be considered 
under the headings of- — 

(a.) Fluviatile gravels and sands (including residual or semi-residual deposits). 

(b.) Marine gravels and sands. 

(a.) Fluviatile Graveh and Sands. 

The banks and beds of most of the streams of tlie subdivision contain at least 
traces of gold, and in many cases have been tested with profitable results. Botli 
banks of the BuUer, in particular, have been worked at a nninbei- of places, tlie 
chief of which are I'iroroa (Twelve-mile) and tlie historic "Old Diggings" near 
Berlin's. Other localities are below tlie Blackwater junction and between Three- 
channel Flat and Pensini Creek. The workings were chiefly on small flats 30 ft. 
or 40 ft. above the ordinary level of the river. When the river was low many of the 
gravel beaches from Hawl\'s Crag upwards yielded at least wages to men working 
with cradles, small sluice-boxes, or similar appliances. Since LSOO nil these beaches, 
except those below the Blackv.'ater, and the ordinary wator-chaniiels wlierc gravel- 
bearing, have been dredged (see Chapter II, pages 26-28). There remain only one 
or two beaches near Hawk's Crag known to contain gold, and those in themselves do 
not warrant the expense of a dredge. The beaches lower down I he KuIUt are pro 
bably valueless. 

* See " Handbook of Oold-millins," by Henry Loui.s, 1804, pp. Ki-lO, &o. 


A ymall amount of alluvial gold, doubtless derived froiu the auriferous lodes in 
its watershed, has been obtained from the gravels of New Creek. 

The Maekley Kiver, according to report, is gold-bearing, and has been tested by 
a considerable number of parties, but these have met with little success. The only 
old workings of any consequence are situated on the banks of Stevenson Creek, a 
branch that rises near Cedar Creek Saddle and drains an area of Aorere rocks. 

The only other tributaries of the BuUer within .the subdivision that have yielded 
any gold worth mention are the Blackwater River and Cascade Creek. The former 
stream, however, contains very little gold, and the only workings now visible consist 
of a small sluiced patch of gravel on the east bank about a mile above its junction 
with the BuUer. The bed and banks of Cascade Creek have been worked at 
intervals from a point three or four miles above its motitli to tlie neighbourhood 
of V 37 Creek. Some coarse gold is said to have been obtained from Cascade 
Creek gravels. Here also the head of V 8 Creek, south of Coalbrookdale, may 
be mentioned as gold-bearing. 

Practically nothing is on record concerning the alluvial gold obtained in the beds 
of Ballarat Creek, Grerman Gully, Deadman's Creek, Christmas Creek, and other 
small streams draining the slopes of Mount Rochfort and the adjoining high-level 
terraces. Their gold, however, may be regarded as derived from the auriferous 
Pleistocene gravels, both marine and fluviatile, and hardly needs separate consideration. 

The Whareatea near its head, in a locality not more than a mile south of Coal- 
brookdale, has been worked quite extensively, especially at a spot where there is a 
small flat covered by a few feet of gravel, composed chiefly of greywacke. Its tri- 
butary, Trent Creek, has also been worked to a small extent. It is difficult to say 
Avhence the gold and accompanying gravel have come, both ^xs regards the Whareatea 
and V 8 Creek, for no gold-bearing rocks outcrop in their watersheds. The imme- 
diate souice may have been the coal-measure conglomerates that once covered the 
area to the southward drained by V 37 and Vincent creeks, where gi-eywacke, 
granite, quartz-porphyry, &c., now outcrop. 

The lower part of the Waimangaroa River gorge has been worked for gold since 
the early days of alluvial mining in the Westport district until recent years. Occa- 
sional rich, if inextensive, patches, together Avith a numl^er of small nuggets, have been 
found. The gold is obviously derived fi'om lodes in the Aorere greywackes and 
argillites, which outcrop extensively in the gorge. 

Near Kiwi Compressor, Upper Waimangaroa, are some curious minor occurrences 
of alluvial gold. One of these is in a little gully where Aorere argillite outcrops 
over a small area. Another is an ancient pothole in grits, close to the compressor, 
and 50 ft. or 60 ft. above the Waimangaroa, which on being cleaned out was found 
to contain some gold. Small quantities of alluvial gold have been obtained at 
various other spots on the Denniston uplands (the so-called " plateau "). The source 
of the gold is not always easy to trace. The auriferous material, probably worked 
about 1890, on Cedar Creek Saddle, north of Mount William, consists of shingly 
fragments of greywacke and argillite, which are but little water-worn, and are 
accompanied by very little quartz. It would seem that this deposit, situated at a 
high level, almost on the top of a ridge, is essentiallj- residual in nature, its gold 
being probably derived from a neighbouring auriferous zone in the Aorere rocks. 
From this source also came the gold won from the bed of Cedar Creek itself. 

Dufty, Patten, Chatterbox, and other small creeks between Ngaka-svau and Moki- 
hinui have yielded a good deal of gold, clearly derived, as previously mentioned, from 

marine I'laibtoccnc gi'avels and aaudti (old beach leads). A little gold may oeeur towards 
the head of Watson Brook, a tributary of Charming Creek.* 

Hodges Creek, a tributary of liough-and-Tumble Creek, which drains the eastern 
Hank of Mount Kilmarnock, has been extensively worked for alluvial gold, evidently 
derived from the Aorere rocks that outcrop in its watershed. 

(b.) Marine Gruvth and Sands. 

The xnarine deposits of Pleistocene age insensibly pass into those considered as 
llecent, and hence no hard-and-fast line of division can be diawn. There is pro- 
bably a great deal of gold buried in the modern part of the coastal plain, but only 
comparatively small portions have been worked for gold. 

The marine gravels and sands inunediately behind the beach at Constant .Bay 
were woiked with good results in the earliest days of the Charleston district. At 
liahui, a mile to the north, where old beach deposits have been extensively worked, 
Powell's claim lias been more or less continuously operated on a large scale for many 
years. Several leads not far from high-water mark are being sluiced, the material 
being h3'draulically elevated and then jjassed over gold-saving tables. These in 1898 
consisted of eight amalgamated copper-plate tables, each 6 ft. by 6 ft., followed by 
as many baize-covered tables of the same size.t In later years the copjDer plates 
may have been discarded. The black-sand here is fine and scaly. 

Near the mouth of the Mokiliinui a buried beach lead was discovered in 1865, 
and after being worked for some years was abandoned as exhausted. In 1887 or 
thereabouts a continuation of the lead was found, but appurently this was of no 
great extent, and was soon worked out. 

South of Ngakawau and near Birchfield the nuirine deposits have been tested by 
dredging and in other ways, but at the present time no work is being done. Within 
the last few years auriferous beach deposits between Fairdowu and the sea have been 
prospected with favourable results. The lead now being worked by the Carthage 
Gold-mining Company lies beneath 20 ft. or more of sand, at about sea-level. The 
material is hydraulically elevated to a wide spread of tables, covered witli plush 
mats, on which the gold collects with somewhat coarse black-sand. The concentrate 
from the mats is treated in an anialgamating-barrel in order to recover the gold- 
content. The published weekly returns vary from 20 oz. to 50 oz. oi' more. 

A very large amount of gold has been won from the preser.t sea-beaches by 
"black-sanding." The concentration of tlie gold with the ironsand is effected by wave- 
action, and consequently, after favourable weather, some gold can always be obtained 
from the beach-sands by the treatment of the latest concentrate. 

The black-sands have been worked along almost the whole foreshore from near 
Charleston to north of the Mokihinui. In this length of coast, however, many por- 
tions are poor, whilst others — as, for example, at Rahui (" The Beach ") — are, or 
rather were, particularly rich. Most of the gold in the btach-sands subject to sea- 
action has now been removed by repeated worl\ing. Immediately north-east of 
Westport, however, the sea has been cutting into the land during the past few years, 
and thus a fresh supply of gold lias been added to the beach deposits in this neigh- 


The marine gravels and sands of the coastal plain from Four-miU' Creek and 
Charleston to Mokihinui vary ip depth from a few feet to 60 ft. or more, and are 

* Fifth Ann. Rop. of N.Z. Gool. Surv., 1911, p. (i. 
t Mines Report, (!.-3, 1899, p. 108. 


everywhere more or less auriferous. Altiiougii the known I'icher patches are prac- 
tically worked out, there are undoubtedly black-sand leads still to be discovered 
wliich Avould be profitable to work, but whether a systematic search for these would 
be advisable is another question. One exception to this statement may be made. 
Several of the known leads are at the base of terraces, and this is not an 
accident, but due to the concentration of -gold derived from the terrace during 
the wave-cutting period. Hence all terrace-bases ought to be carefully prosjDected 
wherever this has not already been done by the early miners and their successors. 
Reference may here be made to the raised auriferous beaches at Nome, several 
of which occur at the foot of sniall terraces.* A consideration of the known geolo- 
gical factors will Iielp in such a search, but of greater value Avould be a full record 
of the claims worked out by the old miners and of the prospecting done by 
them. It is believed that much of the poorer material in various localities con- 
tains enough gold to render its working profitable, if only an adequate supply of 
water could be obtained at a modeiate expense. Many years ago it was proposed to 
bring a water-race from the Ohikanui River to Addison's, but this very exjaensive 
scheme fell through, and it is obviously now impossible to recommend it. Other 
obstacles in working the low-grade gravels are the lack of fall for tailings and 
the great length of the necessary drainage-tunnels. 



The gold associated with the black-sand leads of Charleston, Addison's Flat, 
Bradshaw's, Fairdown, and Mokihinui is in very small jjarticles, and much of it, 
indeed, floats so readily on water that it is easily lost, whilst, as stated on an earlier 
page, a great proportion is either non-amalgamable or amalgamates with great diffi- 
culty, owing to the presence of a supposed coating of iron-hydroxide. The gold 
obtained in the stream-beds, except wliere derived from marine deposits, is generally 
fairly coarse, and is thus, as the diggers term it, "a good sample." The small 
nuggets of the Waimangaroa have already been mentioned, and it may be of interest 
to record that in Little Flaxbush Creek, near Three-channel Flat, a 40 oz. nugget 
was found, whilst in some workings on the west side of the BuUer near Rocks Bar 
or Rocky Fall (betM-een Three-channel Flat and L3-ell) a nugget weighing 95 oz. 5 gr. 
was obtained. t 

Exact information concerning the quality of the alluvial gold of the Buller- 
Mokihinui Subdivision as ascertained by analysis is not available. The gold from 
the marine deposits (black-sand leads, &c.) is, when freed from the adherent iron- 
oxide, &c., almost pure. For many years the bank price of Charleston gold Avas 
stated in the Mines Reports to be £3 19s. per ounce. To obtain the Mint value 
of this gold allowance must be made for the bank's jirofit and for accidental 
impurities, such as adhering oxide of iron. The gold near Westport is worth from 
£3 17s. to £3 18s. per ounce, and that of the Lyell district £3 17s. and 
upwards. The usual price obtained by the Buller dredges for their gold seems to 
have been about £3 18s. per ounce. 


The ultimate main source of the alluvial gold of the .subdivision is, without 
doubt, au)iferous veins and zones in the greywackes and argillites of the Aorere 
Series. The granites and gneisses of the area under consideration are nowhere known 

* T. A. Eickard : " Geology applied to Mining." Mining Magazine, vol. xi, October, 1914, pp. 251-69. 
t Information from Mr. V. Dellavedova. The localities are outside the area described in this report. 

to be auriferous, and thus resemblj tlie granitic rocks of otlier parts of the South 
Island, which aro overywhere practically nou-auriferous, the only known but unim- 
portant exception being the granite of Mount Rangitoto, North Westland, which in 
places contain traces of gold.* It ought to be added, however, tliat small amounts of 
alluvial gold have been reported as occurring on other granitic mountains in West- 
land, and while this report is passing through the press one of the writers has been 
shown a specimen of granite from the Oparara district, near Karamea, that con- 
tains visible gold. 

The alluvial gold of Hodges Creeli, the Waimangaroa Jliver, Cascade Creek, 
Stevenson Creek, and New Creek is, as mentioned on previous pages, directly derived 
from Aorere rocks in the iimnediate neighbourhood. In places a little gold in the 
Quaternary deposits may have been derived from the coal-measure conglomerates, &c. 
The gold of the Buller lliver has been transported some distance, and' its sources 
cannot well be determined. Some has come from the Aorere rocks of the Lyell 
district, and some from similar rocks that once occurred on the slopes of the 
Brunner liange to a much greater extent than they do now. 

The small amounts of gold in the coal-measure conglomerates and in the 
Hawk's Crag breccia may by inference be considered as derived mainly from quartz 
veins in Aorere rocks. 

There is some diiiiculty in ascertaining the source of the enormous amount of 
tine detrital gold in the marine Quaternary deposits of the subdivision. The gold 
is evidently far-carried, and cannot have been derived from the Aorere rocks as now 
developed in the subdivision, which, tliough almost everywhere gold-bearing, are 
known to be strongly auriferous only at Ston}' Creeli. Perhaps some gold has 
been derived from Aorere rocks that once covered portions of the Paparoa Range, 
whilst some may have been carried up the coast by the waves and currents of the sea. 
It is probable, however, that a great part of the gold in the marine deposits has been 
brought down by the Buller River. Hector in 1868 writes, " I believe that this fine 
gold must have been deposited by the Buller and other rivers, and that it is not due 
to the extension up the coast of the surf-carried gold derived from the ' leads ' along 
the main range in the south."! 

Hector regarded the transported gold as having been derived from the terrace 
country intersected by the BuUei- and its tributaries, but does not state the ulti- 
mate source of the gold in the terraces. 

McKay has fully discussed the origin of the Westland alluvial gold.| He 
considers this as derived mainly from the Moutere gravels of Pliocene age, and 
these again have obtained much of their gold from the coal-measure conglomerates 
and breccias. The ultimate source of the gold he believes to be argillites and 
greywackes (slates) of Carboniferous or Maitai age. These are the (Jieenland rocks 
of Bulletins Nos. 6 and 1-3, and tlie Aoi'ere rocks of the present bulletin. McKay 
further believes that tlie Paheozoic rocks which were the real source of tlie alluvial 
gold of to-day formed a mountainous land to the west of tlic present sea-coast. 
He writes, " Much of the gold of the west coast could not have been, and was 
not, supplied to the low grounds from an easterly direction. "S 'Hie reader may 

* J. R. Don : " The Genesis of certain Auriferous Lodes." Trans. Amer. Inst. Min. Eng., vol. xxvii 
1897, p. 652. ' ■ " ' 

t " Abstract Ropoit of the Progress of tho Geological Survey of New Zealand diirinsi 1 8()G-()7."' G.S. Hep. 
No. 4, 1868, p. 32. In tho version of this report iniblislied in 18()7, only the Hidler Kiver is mentioned (p. 14.) 

J " Geological Explorations of the Northern Partof Westland." Mines ll(4)ort, G. -.'J, 1893 pp 173-82 
See also Rep. G.S. during 1 892-93, No. 22, 1894, pp. 1 l-fiO. 

§ Loc. cit., p. 182. Rep. G.S. No. 22, p. 43. 


also be referred to the remarks dealing with the origin of the Westland alluvial gold 
in Bulletins Nos. 6 and 13.* 

The writers of this bulletin are unable to present any fresh evidence bearing 
on the origin of the alluvial gold of the Westport district.! Unfortunately the 
alluvial mining industry is at present in so decadent a condition that it neither 
furnishes data on which to found speculations, nor is it important enough to call for 
prolonged and expensive investigation. McKay had the opportunity of seeing the 
alluvial mines soon after the period of maximum production, and his conclusions may 
be accepted as substantially correct in most respects- Some exception may jjerhaps 
be taken to his hypothetical western range as unnecessary. The writers, lioAvever, 
have made no observations that are inconsistent with its existence. On the contrary, 
some evidence in its favour has been obtained (see page 79, and Bulletin No. 13, page 51). 


Platinum and Osmirklium. 

In 190-3 Sydney Fry found 8'5 per cent, of platinum in gold bullion from 
the tail-race of the Rochfort Hydraulic »Sluicing Claim. J According to Kenneth 
lioss,§ platinum was also obtained by Mr. Frj^ in concentrated material from 
Whareatea Creek, Christmas Terrace (Fairdown), and Bradshaw's. It has also been 
reported by tlie Dominion Laboi'atoryjl in sand from Cerman Terrace Analyses of 
samples of platinum-bearing concentrates from Fairdown, and from the Shamrock 
Claim, Addison's are given on previous pages (115, 117). 

Osmiridium has been reported from the Mokihinui beach lead, 11 and also from the 
Whareatea River.** 

It is probable that in past years man}- ounces of platinum were discarded from 
the auriferous gravels of the Fairdown and jjerhaps other districts. At the present 
time the known occurrences are of little economic importance, though obviously the 
gold-miners of the Westport district ought to save their concentrates and have them 
regularly analysed. 

The association of chromite with the platinum indicates a common derivation 
from the serpentine-dunite belt of the western slope of the Southern 'Alps, or not 
impossibly from a similar zone in the westerly land postulated by McKay. 


The presence of stream-tin in the Westport district has been known for many 
years, and it has been reported from a number of localities. Small quantities 
are stated by McKay and Sydney Fry {fide Kenneth Ross) to be present in the 
Wainiangaroa River gravels. Steam-tin has been found in the Mackley Valley, but 
the exact locality is doubtful. According to the most reliable account, it occurs in 
Wilderness Creek, probably a tributary of Stevenson Creek, which has its source near 
Cedar Creek Saddle. Though panning tests of stream-gravels made by the Geolo- 
gical Survey at several places in the IMackley' watershed gave negative results, the 
occurrence of tin in moderate quantity is not unlikely, for granitic and gneissic rocks 
cover a considerable area in this quarter. 

* N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 6, 1908, pp. 114-15, 155-56 ; and Bull. No. 13, 1912, pp. 89-90, &c. 
f Unless the presence of chromite, platinum, monazite, &c., in the marine deposits can be considered as 
such (see later paragraphs). 

X Mines Report, C.-3, 1904, p. 27. 
\ Mines Record, vol. x, 1906-7, p. 12. 
II Fortv-second Ann. Rep., 1909, p. 31. 
i[ Mines Report, C.-5, 1888, p. 36. 
** Mines Record, vol. iv, 1900-1, p. 161. 


Dr. W. H. Gaze in 1888 ici)Oited stream-tin from Cedar Creek and Moki- 
hinui.* The gravels of Cedar Creek were tested by panning and in one case by 
assay of the dish concentrates, but no tin was found. Dr. Gaze's statement, 
liowever, probably refers to the gold-worlvings on the east side of Cedar Creek 
Saddle! ( 2 Wilderness Creek). The Molcihinui locality is not definitely ascertainable, 
but is possibly near Seatonville.f 


Monazite occurs in trilling quantity, associated with the bhick-sands of the 
coastal belt. It has been definitely identified at Bradshaw's, Bull's, and Fairdown 
by Sydney Fry and by the Dominion Laboratory. Analyses of concentrates from 
Addison's, Bradshaw's, and Fairdown are given on pages 115-17. Concentrate from 
Jameson and party's cement claim, Bradshaw's, contained, according to Fry — Tlioria, 
0"2 per cent. ; ceria, oxides of lanthanum, &c., 0'42 per cent.| 


Since the black- or iron-sands of the subdivision have been regarded as a 
possible source of iron, some remarks on the subject may litre be made. The 
auriferous cements of Cliarleston and neighbourhood certainly contain a large amount 
of iron, but under present conditions cannot be regarded as iron-ores. The 
deposits are too impure to be smelted without concentration, which would present 
various difficulties, such as the loss of liydrated brown oxide of iron on the one 
hand, and tlie retention of zircon and various other heavy minerals on the other. 
Again, smelting the concentrated sand is hardly a commercial proposition at the pre- 
sent time, for it is highly titaniferous, as shown by the analyses on pages 115—17. 
Auriferous ironsands from the Lower Buller, according to Hector, analyse as follows : 
Magnetite, 5-l'0 per cent.; " titanite " (? ilmenite), 42'3 per cent.§ Skey, however, 
records two samples of a " wash from the Westport district, formed of mixtures of 
haematite and magnetite, and containing 66'4 and 67'6 per cent, of iron respec- 
tively. || Further information concerning the ironsands of the district may be 
obtained from McKay's paper entitled " Notes on the Auriferous Ironsands of New 
Zealand. "H 


Many years ago barite was reported to occur in some quantity at Cascade 
Ci'eek,** and Dr. Gaze writes that it is there associated with flourspar.ft These 
statements, however, require some confirmation before they can be accepted. In 1902 
a nearly pure sample of barite sent from Westjaort was analysed at the Waihi School 
of Mines. IJ The source of this specimen, according to the sender, Mr. P. Hennessey, 
was near Millerton, and during the past few years the presence of the mineral in 
this locality, and also at Coalbrookdale, has become generally known. 

The Coalbrookdale occurrence consists of small lenticular irregular veins in 
quartz-porphyry near tlie tunnel through which the Westport Coal Company's rope- 
line passes. None of these is more than 2 in. or 3 in. thick, or more than a few 
feet in length. 

* " An Introduction to Analytical Pyrology," 1888, p. 46. 

t See also Handbook of New Zealand Mines, 1887, p. 221. 

X Mines Report, C.-3, 1905, p. 27. 

§ " Handbook of New Zealand," 1886, p. 46. 

II Lab. Rep. No. 18, 1883, p. 47. 

^ Mines Record, vol. i, 1897-98, pp. 395-96, and 446-50. Reprinted separately in 1901. 

** Mines Report (Warden's Reports), 1887, p. 136. 

tt Op. cit., p. 65. 

it Mines Report, C.-3, 1903, p. 68. 


During the course of the recent geological survey a number of small barite 
veins \Yere located in coal-measure grits on or near the Westport-Stockton Coal 
Company's lease two or three miles south-east of Millerton. Three of these are 
close to trig, station AH, whilst three others are nearly a mile away, on the 
south side of the Mangatini fault. The veins 'are from a fraction of an inch 
to Gin. or Tin. in width, and none can be traced for more than 30ft. The 
strike of most is north-Avest and south-east, and the dip almost vertical. 

The barite veins are too small and too remote from a market to be of commer- 
cial value, for the value of the crude mineral at tlie shipping-point is probably not 
more than 12s. 6d. to 15s. per ton. 

The veins have without much doubt been formed by downward descending solu- 
tions during the period when erosion of the once-overlying rocks was proceeding. 
Ihe barium was perhaps exti'acted from the Kaiata mudstone. It is of interest to 
note that various barite-deposits in other parts of the world have been formed by 
downward decension combined with lateral secretion — for example, the veins near the 
village of Five Fingers, Nova Scotia.* 

The following analyses of the Westport barite have been made : — 






Barium sulphate 









Ferric oxide (FcgOg) and alumina 

















Moisture lost at 100° C. 


Loss on ignition 



Water and organic matter 


Undetermined (including alkalies) 





(1.) Sample analysed at Waihi School of Mines by P. G. Morgan in 1902. (Mines 

Report, C.-3, 1903, p. 68.) 
(2.) Barite from Coalbrookdale. 
(3.) Barite from 6 in.-7 in. vein near bore on T 35 Cieek, one mile south of 

trig, station AH. 
(4.) Probably from vein some distance west of bore on T 35 Creek. 

Pegmatitic veins containing plates of mica 1 in. or more in diameter are not 
uncommon in the gneissic rocks of the subdivision. Near Charleston, and about 
20 chains south of west from Constant Bay, is a vein or mass of coarse pegmatite, 
which during part of 1911 and 1912 was worked for its mica-contents. About 
2 tons of the mineral, much of which, it is understood, was not in the form of 
merchantable sheets, but merely scrap, was exported to England.! Though plates 
measuring as inuch as 6 in. by 4 in. can be obtained, the proportion of sheet mica 

* Mining and Scientific Press, 22nd January, 1910, vol. c, p. 158. 
t Mines Report, C.-3, 1912, p. 63. 


to barren rock is too small to enable the pegmatite to be profit abl}' wovkerl 
unless richer patches can be found. Some of the mica is cross-grained, and all 
seen by the writers is somewhat dark in colour, whilst that near the surface has beer: 
affected by weathering, but any defect of this kind would, of course, disappear 
in depth. So far as knoAvn, no test of the insulating-strength of the mica has 
been made. 

The occurrence of mica in large plates at Charleston was known many years 
ago, for Liversidge in 1878 mentions muscovite-mica from that locality. He describes 
it as brown in colour, with greenish shades and metallic lustre, and gives the fol- 
lowing analysis : — * 

Silica ... ... ... ... ... ... 45-007 






Undetermined constituents, water, soda, &c. 

The following complete analyses of Charleston mica, made 
Laboratory during 1914, are (1) of brownish merchantable sheets, 
grained material : — 

Silica (SiO^) 
Alumina (AljOg) 
Ferric oxide (FejOj) 
Ferrous oxide (FeO) 
Manganous oxide (MnO) 
Titanium -dioxide (TiO,) 
Lime (CaO) 
Magnesia (MgO) 
Potash (K^O) . . 
Soda (Na^O) . . 
Lithia (Li^O) 

Phosphoric anhydride (P2O6) 
Sulphur -trioxide (SO 3) 
Carbonic anhydride (CO 2) 
Water below 100° C. 
Combined water 




in the Dominion 
and (2) of cross- 





































The list of minerals printed as Appendix 1 to tliis report contains references 
to the following inineriils and nietiillic ores, as well as to others of possible economic 
importance : Graphite, galena, spathic iron-ore, manganese-ore, alum-shale, copper- 
ore, cinnabar, potash-feldspar, l)isnmtli, luoiiazifct topaz, zirooTi, A'c. 

* " Notes on some of the New Zealand Minerals belonging to the Otago Museum." Trans,, vol. x, 1878, 
pp. 497-98. 

fSee also p. 123. 


It may be as well to mention here that orthoclase (potash- feldspar) forms a large 
proportion of the Charleston pegmatite dyke mentioned under the heading of 
"Mica," and described on page 102. When a practicable process for the recovery 
of potash from potash-feldspar and other potassium silicates, such as muscovite-mica, 
has been discovered it is probable that the Charleston pegmatite and perhaps other 
similar occurrences will be utilized in the manufacture of potassium salts. 

Building-stones, etc. 

The Miocene limestones of the Charleston, Cape Foulwind, and Mokihinui dis- 
tricts could be used locally for building purposes. The limestone near the Little 
Totara Stream is flaggy, and probably more suitable for use as a building-stone than 
that of the other localities named. 

The grits and sandstones of the bituminous coal-measures have been used in the 
construction of stone walls and dams near Denniston, Millerton, and elsewhere. In 
places these rocks could be quarried for building purposes if local demand existed. 

The greywacke and hornfels of the Aorei-e Series are generally tough, hard rocks, 
but, owing to the joint-jalanes, where these exist, tending to intersect at 'angles well 
removed from a right angle, could not be quarried, as a rule, without much waste. 

Though not as a rule of ornamental quality, the granites and gneisses of the 
subdivision can furnish an inexliausible supply of building-material. They are, 
however, seldom well jointed. The gneissic granite of Cape Foulwind is, as men- 
tioned in Chapter II, extensively quarried in order to supply material for the moles 
at the mouth of the BuUer River. 


Ganister is largely used for lining steel furnaces (in the acid-hearth process) and 
for the manufacture of firebrick. It is usually defined as a fine-grained siliceous 
sandstone or grit, the composition of which should be within the following limits : 
Silica 87 to 96, alumina 4 to 5, ferric oxide to 15, lime and magnesia 0'26 to 
0"75, alkalies to 1 per cent.* The best Yorkshire ganisters contain 95 per cent, 
of silica. 

On the Denniston and Millerton uplands thiclv and accessible beds of sandstone 
occur which undoubtedly comply with the definition of ganister as given above. Of 
no present economic importance, these sandstones in the future may prove very use- 
ful in the manufacture of siliceous firebricks. Experimental Avork and practical tests 
will, of course, be necessary to determine the real value of the Westport sand- 
stones as refractory materials. Much of the British ganister, as Searle observes, is 
useless except for road-metal, because it contains too high a percentage of impurities. 
The attention of the writers was directed to the possible ganister qualities of the 
bituminous coal-measure sandstones by Mr. J. Bradley, chemist to the Westport Coal 

Road-making Material. 

The Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision, unlike some parts of New Zealand, does not 
suffer from the want of cheap and easily obtained road-making material. For this 
purpose the gravels of the coastal plain, river-flats, and stream-beds are generally 
used. The stream-gravels commonly contain many overlarge pebbles, but when these 
are removed or broken to a smaller size make tolerably good roads. The marine 
gravels, both ancient and modern, though usually free from large stones, do not bind 

* Alfred B. Searle :\ " An Introduction to British Clays, Shales, and Sands," 1912, p. 181. 


\vell, owing to the absence of clayey material; they therefore form roads with many 
loose pebbles on their surfaces. On the Denniston and Millcrton uplands bituminous 
coal-measure sandstone and grit are a good deal used for road-making purposes, and 
though not ideal materials, owing to their somewhat rapid disintegration into sand 
with poor binding-qualities, answer sufficiently well where used judiciously. Near 
Burnett's Face the outcropping Aorere rocks and quartz-porphyry are being quarried 
for road-making purposes. The granites and limestones of the subdivision are also 
being used to a limited extent as macadamizing materials. 

Limestones sxhtable foe the Manufacture of Lime and Cement. 

Eocene Limestones. 

Towards the head of Fletcher Brook, a branch of Charming Creek, limestone 
appears in a low horizon of the Kaiata beds. As shown by analysis, it is here of good 
quality, and well adapted for the manufacture of lime or cement, but the area over 
which suitable rock outcrops is small, and the locality is many miles from Westport, 
which is practically the nearest shipping-point. The substantially constructed tram- 
line of the Yellow Silver-pine Exploration Company passes in the immediate vicinity, 
and furnishes transport facilities to the rail-head at Mokihinui Mine, less than three 
miles away, so that possibly lime could be advantageously made in a small way for 
local use. 

South of Fletcher Brook calcareous rocks outcrop in St. Andrew and St. David 
streams, but are in general too impure to be of any value, though in St. Andrew 
Stream the material at one place may have the composition of an hydraulic limestone. 
Analysis No. 2 below is not from the outcrop to which reference is made, but represents 
more siliceous material. 

Miocene lAmestones. 

Though limestone is abundant in the Oamaru rocks, is is not everywhere sufficiently 
pure to have much value for commercial purposes. Thus north of the Mokihinui the 
calcareous rocks as a rule are arenaceous, argillaceous, or both, though in places fairly 
suitable for the manufacture of lime. At the north end of the .bridge over the Buller 
south of Lyell a thick and fairly good limestone forms a cliff in which roadways have 
been cut for several chains. Flaggy but inapure limestone outcrops in Pensini Creek 
two miles from its mouth. Limestone is seen in the eastern part of Ohika Survey 
District, and some in the watershed of Nada Creek is of moderately good quality. 

The best limestone in the subdivision, and also that most favourably situated for 
the manufacture of lime and cement, is in the neighbourhood of Cape Foulwind, where 
it was for some years quarried by the Westport Harbour Board, and at the present 
time is being used to a small extent for making lime. The rock outcrops over an area 
of about 80 acres, and at least 6,000,000 tons are available for cement-manufacture. 
The interested reader may be referred to a special report* for fuller particulars of 
the cement possibilities. 

Seven or eight miles south of Cape Foulwind limestone outcrops near the mouth of 
the Totara River. Thick flaggy limestone appears on the roadside south of the Little 
Totara River, whilst from the Waitakere River to the southern boundary similar rock 
forms prominent escarpments at a distance of two miles to one mile from the coast. 
In general the limestone of the Charleston district is apparently of good quality, and 
for agricultural purposes there is an inexhaustible supply. At some future time the 
manufacture of cement may become feasible, but the distance from a shipping-port will 
always be a drawback. 

* P. G. Morgan : " Cement Materials near Cape Foulwind." Seventh Ann. Rep., N.Z.G.S., 1913, 
pp. 126-28. 



The following analyses, all except the last, of samples collected by the writers, 
may be quoted : — 
























Alumina (AljO^) 
Ferric oxide (FegOg) 









f 2-97 

I 0-50 

f 0-51 

Lime (CaO) 








53-08 41-65 



Magnesia (MgO) 












Carbonic anhydride (CO 2) 












Phosphoric anhydride (P20g ) 











Titanium-oxide (Ti02) 











Water and organic matter 












Alkalies and undetermined 























(1.) Limestone, Fletcher Brook. 
(2.) Impure limestone, St. Andrew Stream. 
(3.) Arenaceous limestone, New Inland Karamea Road. 
(4.) Limestone, near Lyell Bridge, Buller River. 
(5.) Limestone, Cape Foulwind Beach. 
(6.) Calcareous grit. Cape Foulwind Beach. 
(7.) Limestone from quarry. Cape Foulwind. 

(8.) Drillings from upper part of bore in limestone quarry, Cape Foulwind. 
(9.) Drillings from lower part of bore in limestone quarry, Cape Foulwind. 
(10.) Limestone south of quarry. Cape Foulwind. 
(11.) Limestone from Cape Foulwind, forwarded to Dominion Laboratory in 1911 by 

H. R. Young. 
The following references to analyses made by W. Skey and recorded in the 
Dominion Laboratory reports may be useful : — 

Lab. Rep. No. 23, 1889, p. 54 : Two limestones from Cape Foulwind contain 96-75 
and 92-61 per cent, carbonate of lime. 

Lab. Rep. No. 25, 1891, p. 57 : Two concretionary limestones from the vicinity 
of Cape Foulwind contain 91-30 and 90-62 per cent, carbonate of lime. Magnesia and 
other constituents are determined. 

Lab. Rep. No. 27, 1893, p. 28 : A limestone from Cape Foulwind contains 93-18 per 
cent.- carbonate of lime, and 3-12 per cent, carbonate of magnesia. Other constituents 
are iron-oxides 1-26 per cent., siliceous matter 2-03 per cent., and water 0-41 per cent. 

Lab. Rep. No. 33, 1900, p. 10 : A very pure limestone from Cape Foulwind contains 
95-22 per cent, carbonate of lime, 2-46 per cent, carbonate of magnesia, 0-84 per cent, 
iron-oxide, 0-63 per cent, alumina, 0-64 per cent, siliceous matter, and 0-24 per cent, 

Clays and Claystones. 

The mudstone of the Kaiata beds is probably fairly well adapted for the manu- 
facture of ordinary bricks, tiles, drainpipes, &c., and with the addition of siliceous 
material may in places be capable of making moderately refractory firebricks. Much of 
it is suitable for admixture with lime in the manufacture of Portland cement. 

The Miocene claystones, where not too sandy or calcareous, can be used for brick- 
making, and in places material apparently suitable for tUes and for some classes of 
potteryware exists. From Cape Foulwind claystone excellent terra-cotta ware has been 
experimentally produced. The more calcareous or " marly " claystones where favourably 


situated will find a use as cement materials, and elsewhere may be found useful for 
local application as a soil-fertilizer. With the exception of the clay from Seddonville 
mentioned in the next section, Eecent clays, save as minor deposits formed by the 
weathering in place of Tertiary mudstone, claystone, or limestone, are practically non- 
existent in the subdivision. 


Very little fireclay is associated with the coal-seams of the Westport district. In 
places the dark shales interbedded with the grits, sandstones, and coal-seams with or 
without admixture with other materials may be found suitable for the manufacture of 
firebricks, &c. A light-coloured very soft and plastic clay from the vicinity of the 
haulage road to the old Cardiff Mine, Seddonville, about half a mile from the State 
Coal-mine bins, has been used in a small way as a fireclay with some success. Its 
composition is shown by analysis No. 6 below. Similar material is said to occur near 
Mokihinui Mine. 








Silica (SiO^) 







Alumina (AI2O3) 







Ferric oxide (FeaOs) 







Titanium-dioxide (TiOa) ■ 







Lime (CaO) 







Magnesia (MgO) . . 







Soda (NajO) 
Potash (K2O) . . 

' 3-48 






Carbonic anhydride (COg). 







Water at 100° C. . . 

-. \ 11-35 


a Cif 

Combined water and organi( 










Total . . 






* Recalculated from calcium-carbonate, 10-47 per cent. 

(1.) From Cape Foulwind. See Dom. Lab. Rep. No. 39, 1906, pp. 7-8. 

(2.) From Cape Foulwind. See Dom. Lab. Rep. No. 45, 1912, p. 15. 

(3.) From Cape Foulwind cliffs, in horizon well above limestone. 

(4.) From Cape Foulwind cliffs, in horizon just above limestone. 

(5.) Calcareous mudstone, Buller Gorge Road, east of Coal Creek, Inangahua Survey 

District (not in subdivision). 
(6.) Fireclay, near haulage-road to old Cardiff Mine. 

The Miocene claystones below the limestone horizon are more argillaceous and 
also more calcareous than those above, which tend to pass into impure fine-grained 
sandstones. This is shown by analyses (1) and (2) believed to represent samples from 
the lower horizon, and also by analysis (5). 

Testing Clays, &c. 

The value of a clay for most pui'poses other than cement-manufacture cannot be 
determined by chemical analysis, even when this is taken in conjunction with its 
physical characteristics, so that laboratory tests for tensile strength, fire and air shrinkage, 
absorption, fusibility, &c., generally afford much more reliable information. In many 

9— BuUer-Mokihinui. 


cases special tests, varying according to the purpose for which the clay is to be used, 
are necessary before an opinion as to its value can be given. Without doubt the clay 
rocks of the Westport district, in common with those of other parts of New Zealand, 
have great potential value, but before they can be practically utilized a population 
sufficiently large to create an adequate demand, and expert knowledge fully capable of 
conducting the manufacture of clay goods in a proper manner, are required. 


As already stated in Chapter V, the coal of the Buller - Mokihinui Subdivision 
belongs to two distinct formations, one of probable Eocene and the other of Miocene 
age. The Eocene coal in the main is bituminous (humic), whilst the Miocene coal, 
except where it has been strongly afiected by earth-movements, as in Blue Duck 
Creek (a tributary of the Mackley) and near Three-channel Flat (Inangahua Survey 
District) is brown coal containing 10 to 20 per cent, of water. Hence the description 
of the coal resources of the Westport district naturally falls under two heads 
(i) bituminous 'or humic coal, and (ii) brown coal. 


General Description. 

The principal area containing bituminous or Eocene coal extends northward from 
Mount Eochfort to the Mokihinui Eiver as a not very wide strip, bounded on the west 
by the Kongahu or Lower Buller fault, and on the east partly by the Mount William 
fault and partly by an indefinite line di'awn northwards from the point where the latter 
fault appears to die away. This region has been well explored, and contains all the 
producing mines of the Westport district. To the eastward is a little-known block of 
coal-bearing country, the southern part of which is drained by the Mackley or Orikaka 
River, and the northern part by the Ngakawau and other streams. The Glasgow 
fault sharply defines its eastern boundary, beyond which no Eocene rocks are found. 
Together the two areas just delimited form the greater part of the Papahaua end 
of the Paparoa earth-block, described in Chapter III, and again mentioned in 
Chapters IV and V. It may be as well here to repeat that this portion of the Paparoa 
block, though strongly uplifted in the neighbourhood of Mounts Eochfort, William, 
and Frederick, has on the whole a pitch to the northward, so that the coal-horizon 
found at heights of considerably over 3,000 ft. on the three mountains is near, or 
even below sea-level in Charming Creek valley and near Seddonville. The block, more- 
over, is tilted to the eastward, so that the coal near the Glasgow fault is in 
places not much above sea-level. The major faults and changes of dip and strike 
affecting the bituminous coal-measures have been described on earlier pages, whilst 
many minor variations in structure are shown by the geological maps. 

The uplift of the Paparoa-Papahaua earth-block has enabled denudation to expose 
countless coal-outcrops, and has brought almost the whole of the known coal above 
the general drainage-level, so. that it can be worked without hoisting or pumping 
shafts. Unfortunately, however, erosion has gone so far that an enormous amount of 
coal has been lost, and the coal-measures have been entirely stripped from large portions 
of the field. Particularly on the Mount William Range and in the Mackley Valley 
have the denuding agencies been overactive. Again, even in those areas where the 
Eocene rocks still remain, exploration has shown that the workable coal occm's in 
decidedly lenticular deposits, and that considerable portions of the coal-measures are 


practically devoid of coal. Thus estimates of the quantity of coal based on outcrops 
alone are liable to be exaggerated. 


There are several seams of coal in the Westport district, but only over compara- 
tively small areas are as many as two beds, workable under New Zealand conditions, 
found one below the other ; and even then the one is really a split from the other, 
and not a distinctly separate deposit. Owing to the lenticular nature of the coal-seams, 
and their decided variations in physical and chemical properties, exact correlation 
of the various outcrops becomes practically impossible. The truest statement of the 
case seems to be that there is but one main seam, which in places dies out, in other 
places may divide into splits. These splits may locally attain great thickness (50 ft. 
or even more), but where they do so the other part has usually either altogether 
thinned out or become unworkably thin. Subject- to the limitations just mentioned, 
the main seams in different localities may be given corresponding place-names, it being 
understood, however, that they are neither necessarily distinct nor yet without doubt one 
and the same. Thus in the Seddonville district there is the Seddonville seam ; near Moki- 
hinui Mine the Hut seam ; at Manga tini and Mine Creek the Manga tini seam (found to 
be an upward split from the Matipo seam, developed in the eastern part of the Westport- 
Stockton lease) ; at Burnett's Face and Coalbrookdale the Coalbrookdale seam (with 
splits) ; in the upper Blackburn Valley the Blackburn seam ; and so on. In many 
places from 50 ft. to 100 ft. above the main body of coal an apparently distinct minor 
seam from 1 ft. to 3 ft. thick is observable (as well as still smaller layers). It will 
sometimes be convenient to speak of this as the upper seam, though probably in 
some parts of the district the upper seam of other localities has become the main 
seam, and is itself overlain by another upper seam. As used in this report, then, the 
terms " upper " and " lower " seam refer only to the locality being described. 

Cox and Denniston speak of an upper and a lower seam, which they supposed 
remained separate and recognizable throughout the field. Cox, however, on one occasion 
expresses doubt concerning the correlation of the main seam in the Ngakawau basin 
(Mangatini seam) with that in the Waimangaroa basin (Coalbrookdale seam).* 

Roof and Floor. — -As stated in Chapter V, the Eocene coal-seams are associated 
with shale, sandstone, and grit, the two latter rocks greatly predominating. The 
immediate roof of the coal is generally a film sandstone or in places grit. Frequently 
the first foot or so of the roof is a dark shaly sandstone, which rapidly passes into 
or is replaced by a coarser-grained rock. In some parts of the field the coal is over- 
lain by shale, which naturally forms a treacherous roof, and lessens the percentage ,of 
of coal that can be extracted. The floor usually consists of a few inches of carbonaceous 
shale, underlain by sandstone and grit. In some places there is hardly any shale, 
whilst in others there may be many feet. In such cases the roof is likely also to be 
shale, and ultimately, owing to the thinning of the coal, roof and floor may meet. In 
several areas a passage of the whole or the greater part of a coal-seam into a dark shale 
may be clearly observed. 

Physical Characters. 

The coals from the various seams ' and localities do not differ markedly in general 
appearance. Like other bituminous coals they show more or less lustrous surfaces or 
bands interspersed with duller patches. The coal from the Denniston mines is of 

* " Report on Survey of Buller Coalfield." Rep. G.S. during 1874-76, No. 9, 1877, p. 24. 
9*— Buller-Mokihiuui. 


remarkably good appearance, whilst that from Seddonville is on the whole inferior in 
lustre to the other coals of the district. Some of the brighter coal, notably the Coal- 
brookdale, has a tendency to fracture conchoidally, but the usual fracture is cuboidal, 
the coal breaking along the bedding-planes and the nearly vertical joint-planes or 
" cleat." Incidentally it may be observed that cleat is not well developed in the 
Westport coal-seams, and therefore has little influence on the method of working. 

A striking feature of the bituminous coals is their great variation in ability to 
resist disintegration, or, as the miner would term it, hardness. At outcrops the 
coal is generally firm and tough, but exploration reveals the fact that under cover 
much is extremely friable or " soft."* At the Coalbrookdale end of the field hard coal 
decidedly predominates, but at the Mokihinui end is much less in evidence. 

In places, especially near faults and strong rolls, friable coal has become so much 
disintegrated by crushing movements that it forms sooty, incoherent material fit only 
for coking. Such coal is abundant near Waimangaroa, where the coal-measures are 
involved in the great Kongahu or Lower Buller fault. The very peculiar soft, loose 
masses known at Seddonville as " doughboys " are described on a later page. 


The Eocene coals of the Westport district have a somewhat wide range in 
composition. A sample obtained by W. M. Cooper from a locality not definitely stated 
had the composition of an anthracite (see analysis No. 15, page 136), and was there- 
fore comparable with the Fox River anthracite. The sooty coal or " culm " from 
Waimangaroa has a high but variable percentage of fixed carbon. The coal from the 
Denniston collieries as mined contains from 55 to 60 per cent, fixed carbon, 37 to 
41 per cent, volatile hydrocarbons, 1 to 4-5 per cent, water, 0-5 to 4 or 5 per cent, 
ash, and 0-5 to a Httle under 3 per cent, of sulphur. The Millerton coal is somewhat 
higher in fixed carbon and lower in volatile hydrocarbons and water. Sulphur is much 
higher than in the Denniston coal, ranging from 2 to nearly 5 per cent. The West- 
port-Stockton coal, though mined from the same seam as the Millerton,f is slightly lower 
in fixed carbon and higher in volatile hydrocarbons. Mokihinui-Seddonville coal, as 
compared with the Westport-Stockton, is decidedly lower in fixed carbon, and slightly 
higher in volatile matter, water, and sulphur. 

The differences between the coals from the various localities are to some extent 
attributable to variations in amount and nature of the present cover, but probably 
are more closely connected with changes of pressure that took place during the uplift 
of the coal-measures. How far the differences are due to variation in original com- 
position cannot be stated. Correlation of the several seams or splits on the strength 
of similarity in composition is very uncertain, for there are considerable variations in 
one and the same seam as it occurs in different localities. At present no explanation of 
the increase in sulphur towards the middle and northern parts of the field can be given, 
but remarks dealing with the sulphur-content of the Westport coals, both bituminous 
and brown, will be found on several later pages. 

It is of interest to note that resin in the form of small lumps is occasionally seen 
in the Coalbrookdale coal, and, though absent from the Millerton district, is fairly 
common in the Seddonville-Mokihinui coal. Further observations concerning this substance 
are made on page 180. 

* The American reader may be reminded that in New Zealand " soft " coal is a synonym for friable 
coal, and not for bituminous or other non-anthracitic coal. 

t The new workings of the Westport-Stockton Company are in the Matipu seam, a lower split from the 
Millerton or Mangatini seam. See pp. 35, 167 et seq. 


The outstanding feature of the Westpoit coal as mined is its lowness in ash. Some 
is of wonderful purity, leaving when burned little over J per cent, of earthy matter. In 
the Millerton Colliery faces of coal showing not the slightest sign of a dirt band or 
parting and analysing under -| per cent, of ash are quite common. In some localities,, 
on the other hand, dirt, shale, or sandstone bands in the coal are plentiful, but only 
comparatively rarely is the intervening coal of impure character. In those cases where 
coal passes into shale what takes place is mainly a thinning of the coal-seam, accom- 
panied by a corresponding thickening of the overlying and underlying shale. 

Ultimate Analyses. — The only ultimate analysis of Westport bituminous coal found 
by the writers in the available literature is the following, made by Skey.* With it 
is quoted an analysis of Greymouth coal made in the Dominion Laboratory imder the 
direction of J. S. Maclaurinf : — 







Ash .. 


















The proximate analyses of these coals are as follows 
Fixed carbon . . . . 
Volatile hydrocarbons 
Water .. 
Ash .. 

(1.) From Coalbrookdale. 

(2.) From St. Kilda section, Brunner Mine. 











The following ultimate analyses of Westport coals have recently been made in the 
Dominion Laboratory : — 












Hydi-ogen . . 






Nitrogen . . 












Sulphur . . 







. . 100-00 







Calorific value, cal- 
culated from the 






* Lab. Rep. No. 30, 1897, p. 9. 
tN.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 13, 1911, p. 118. 


The proximate analyses of these fuels are as follows :- 






Fixed carbon 






Volatile hydrocar- 







Water .. 


• 5-08 










Totals .. 100-00 100-00 100-00 100-00 100-00 

Total sulphur . . 5-03 4-92 3-97 5-35 2-31 
Calories per gram 

from calorimeter 7,360 7,448 6,627 8,265 8,196 

B.t.u. per lb. . . 13,248 13,406 11,929 14,913 14,753 

Specific gravity . . 1-278 1-270 1-323 n.d. n.d. 

(1.) Seddonville State Colliery. ' General sample from mine (per Mr. I. A. James), 

June, 1914. Clean, fairly bright, hard coal. 
(2.) Similar to (1). Somewhat brighter lustre. 
(3.) Average sample from No. 1 bore, Charming Creek (per Mr. James). See also 

pages 139, 150. 
(4.) Millerton Mine, from a working face. Sample forwarded by the Inspector of 

Mines (Mr. J. Newton). 
(5.) Whareatea section of Coalbrookdale Mine, from a working face. Sample forwarded 
by the Inspector of Mines. 

If recalculated on an ash-free basis the ultimate analyses become, — 
























Oxygen . . 






Sulphur . . 







100-00 100-00 100-00 100-00 100-00 

The presence of small amounts of phosphorus and arsenic in the bituminous coals 
is indicated by the coke analyses quoted on page 171. 

Proximate Analyses. — During the past forty years or more several hundred analyses 
of Westport coal have been made in the Dominion Laboratory. The most representative 
of these are those made for the Admiralty, each of which as a rule represents a cargo 
of coal. The average of fifty-two* such samples of coal from the Denniston Mines, 
taken in 1908, 1909, and 1910, is as follows 

Fixed carbon 
Volatile hydrocarbons 

Total sulphm- per cent. 







* One or two analyses with slight clerical errors have been included, whilst several with larger errors 
or in some other way doubtful have been excluded. 


The average of forty-eight* similar samples of Millertori CollioT y coal is : — 

Fixed carbon 
Volatile hydrocarbons 

Total sulphur per cent. 







The fixed carbon in the fifty-two samples of Denniston coal varies from 54-76 
per cent, to 58-02 per cent., the volatile hydrocarbons from 37-56 to 40-84, the 
water from 1-27 to 3-62, the ash from 0-80 to 4-42, and the sulphur from 0-97 to 
2-94. The corresponding figures for the forty-eight samples of Millerton coal are 
56-48 and 63-30; 34-93 and 40-17; 0-52 and 2-21; 0-45 and 2-92; 2-11 and 6-11. 
Analyses of the crushed coal from Waimangaroa and other places show higher fixed 
carbon with correspondingly lower volatile hydrocarbons (see analyses quoted later), 
but such coal is not representative of the field as a whole. 

The following table contains forty proximate analyses, selected from pubKshed reports 
as representative of the various sections of the Westport coalfield. A further series 
of analyses will be given in connection with the detailed descriptions of outcrops on 
later pages. It should be noted that Skey's results, partly owing to most of his 
samples being from outcrops, and partly owing to slight differences in the method of 
making the proximate analyses, show a higher percentage of fixed carbon than 
Maclaurin's. The average composition of Denniston-Coalbrookdale coal may be con- 
sidered as represented by analysis No. 12, and similarly analysis No. 31 represents the 
average Millerton Colliery coal. 


OF Coal from Westport District. 



• ■ 








Coalbrookdale . . 






From 9 ft. to 10 ft. seam ; coal pitch- 

black, lustrous, puffs sUghtlj' ; 

specific gravity 1-244; coke dull, 

coherent ; ash dark -buff. 


. . 57-20 ^ 40-20 



Coal glistening on some of cleavages, 
rhombohedral fracture ; coke very 
porous, semi-metallic ; ash light- 


.. 62-70 31-55 




Dull-black coal, tolerably hard and 
compact; specific gravity 1-250; 
coke semi-metallic in lustre, very 
porous, possessing little coherence. 


. . 58-74 35-97 



Analysis as given sums to 99-96. 
Coke is given (erroneously) as 67-84 
per cent. Rather friable coal, with 
brilliant lustre and conchoidal frac- 
ture ; puffs to a hollowed ball ; 
specific gravity 1-260 ; coke semi- 
metallic ; ash white. 


. . 74-83 1 20-50 



Sample submitted by Railway De- 
partment as "best." Coal lus- 


trous, tender, puffs much ; ash 



. . 70-00 22-15 ' 2-52 


Sample submitted by Railway De- 
partment as " worst." Coal lus- 
trous, compact ; coke compact : 
ash grey. 


"Banbury" .. .. 69-97 25-71 0-99 

1 ' 


Sample submitted by Railway De- 
partment. Coal lustrous; puffs 


* See footnote on picccding j)age. 


Analyses of Coal from Westpobt Distbict — continued. 






















Westport Company's Mine 

Ironbridge Mine, Kiwi dis- 

Ironbridge Mine, Dundee 

Dip district 
Coalbrookdale Mine, Mun- 

zie's section 

Coalbrookdale Mine, Cas- 
cade section 

Denniston CoUieries 

Ground of Roche and party, 


Sim's Spur 

Waimangaroa . . 
Waimangaroa (?) 

Waimangaroa (?) 

Waimangaroa basin 

Crane's Cliff, Ngakawau 

Marshall's lease, Ngaka- 

Ngakawau Basin 

Westport-Stockton lease, 
D tunnel 

Westport-Stockton lease, 
south-east outcrop 

Millerton Colliery, East 
district. Mine Creek 

Millerton ColUery, West 

district, Mine Creek 
Millerton Colliery 

61-76 I 34-20 

57-36 39-61 

56-62 ! 38-40 
55-7.. ; 40-08 

58-75 j 37-24 

56-16 i 39-37 









59-96 31-75 
























































Sample collected by Dr. Hector [pro- 
bably from Banbury Mine]. Sum 
of analysis as given 10002. 

Seam 12 ft. thick. Coal softens and 
intumesces on heating ; coke hard 
and rather dense ; ash light- to dark- 
brown, very granular. Calories 

Seam 14 ft. to 25 ft. thick. Coal, &c., 
as for No. 8. Calories 7,762. 

Seam 10 ft. to 12 ft. Hard dense 
coke ; ash brown and granular. 
Calories 7,923. 

Seam 20 ft. to 25 ft. Hard dense 
coke ; ash brown and granular. 
Calories 7,708. 

Average of fifty-two analyses of Ad- 
miralty cargoes, made by Do- 
minion Laboratory in 1908, 1909, 
and 1910. 

Described by analyst as " highly 
metamorphic coal." Sample col- 
lected by W. M. Cooper. 

Named " anthracite " by analyst. 
Sample collected by W. M. Cooper. 

Named "bituminous coal" by anal- 
yst. Sample collected by W. M. 

Coal very incoherent. Coke very ves- 
cicular and has little coherence. 

From " eastern drive, 67 ft. in." 
Seam 6 ft. thick. Coal highly lus- 
trous, homogeneous, unlaminated ; 
swells very much, giving fragile 

From " western drive, 20-2 ft. in." 
Seam 3J ft. thick. Coal somewhat 
tender, has little lustre and is 
laminated ; coke close - textured, 
very coherent. 

Average of seven early analyses (Skey). 
Errors in figures as printed are dis- 

Collected by James Park. Very 
tender coal ; coke remarkably light 
and vesicular. 

Hard, coherent coal, caking strongly. 

Hard, coherent coal ; frits, but does 
not cake. 

Average of seven early analyses by 

Seam 14 ft. to 20 ft. thick. Coal 
swells moderately on heating and 
gives firm bright coke ; ash dark- 
brown, pulverulent. Calories 8,183. 

Seam 1 6 ft. to 25 ft. thick. Coal, &c., 
as in No. 27. Calories 7,872. 

Seam 20 ft. thick. Coal swells very 
much, and gives hard porous coke ; 
ash light - brown to grey ; pul- 
verulent. Calories 8,227. 

Seam 20 ft. thick. Coal, &c., as in 
No. 29. Calories 8,135. 

Average of forty-eight analyses of 
Admiralty cargoes, made by Do- 
minion Laboratory in 1908, 1909, 
and 1910. 


Analyses op Coal from Wbstpobt District — ■continued. 












Seaton's lease, Mokihinui 





Collected by W. M. Cooper. 







Forwarded by E. J. O'Conor, M.H.R. 
Moderately hard, highly lustrous 
coal ; puffs greatly, yielding very 
porous and fragile coke ; ash grey. 








Average of seventeen analyses by 


Seddonville State Colliery, 
near Chasm Creek bridge 






Seam 8 ft. thick. Coal yields a hard 
dense coke without much swelling ; 
ash dark-brown, granular. Calories 


Seddonville State Colliery, 
Grant's face 






Seam 20 ft. thick. Coal, &c., as in 
No. 35. Calories 7,354. 


"Extension district," 
south of Chasm Creek, 
Seddonville State Colliery 






Swells, forming a hard coke that burns 
to a brown ash. Calories 7,808. 


Seddonville State Colliery 






Swells, forming a hard coke that bums 
to a gTey fiocculent ash. Calories 


Cave area, Seddonville 
State Colliery 






Swells, forming a hard coke ; bums 
to a grey ash. Calories 7,328. 


" Orikaka country " 





• - 

Collected by W. M. Cooper [pro- 
bably in Blackburn area]. 

1-4. J. Hector 


5-7. Lab. Rep. 

8. Lab. Rep. 

9-12. Lab. Rep. 

13. Lab. Rep. 

14-16. Lab. Rep. 

17. Lab. Rep. 

18-19. Lab. Rep. 

The samples 

Mine, Denniston. 

' First General Report on the Coal-deposits of New Zealand," 1866 (this 
.S. Rep. No. 1), pp. 30, 31, 33. Analyses probably by W. Skey. 
No. 23, 1889, pp. 45-46. Analyst, W. Skey. 
No. 15, 1880, p. 26. Analyst, W. Skey. 
No. 40, 1907, p. 56. Analysts, Dr. J. S. Maclaurin and staff. 
Nos. 42-44, 1909-11. Analysts, Dr. J. S. Maclaurin and staff. 
No. 11, 1876, p. 13. Analyst, W. Skey. 
No. 33, 1900, p. 7. Analyst, W. Skey. 
No. 12, 1878, p. 21. Analyst, W. Skey. 

were forwarded by Mr. Fisher, and are possibly from the Fisher or Banbury 
The locality given is Waimangaroa, however. 

20. G.S. Rep. during 1874^76, No. 9, 1877, p. 25. 

21. Lab. Rep. No. 22, 1887, p. 38. Analyst, W. Skey. 
22-25. Lab. Rep. No. 31, 1898, p. 5. Analyst, W. Skey. 

26. G.S. Rep. during 1874-76, No. 9, 1877, p. 25. 
27-30. Lab. Rep. No. 40, 1907, p. 56. Analysts, Dr. Maclaurin and staff. 

31. Lab. Rep. Nos. 42-44, 1909-11. Analysts, Dr. Maclaurin and staff. 

32. Lab. Rep. No. 11, 1876, p. 13. Analyst, W. Skey. 

33. Lab. Rep. No. 20, 1886, pp. 33, 60. Analyst, W. Skey. 

34. Lab. Rep. No. 23, 1889, p. 49. Analyst, W. Skey. Water-percentage corrected. 
35-36. Lab. Rep. No. 40, 1907, p. 57. Analysts, Dr. Maclaurin and staff. 

37-38. Lab. Rep. No. 41, 1908, p. 10. Analysts, Dr. Maclaurin and staff. 

39. Lab. Rep. No. 42, 1909, pp. 10-11. Analysts, Dr. Maclaurin and staff. 

40. Lab. Rep. No. 11, 1876, p. 13. Analyst, W. Skey. 

The following references to other analyses may be given : — 
Lab. Rep. No. 8, 1873, pp. 13-14. Average analysis of Ngakawau coal. 
Lab. Rep. No. 10, 1875, p. 11. Three analyses of coals from " Mount Rochfort district." 


Lab. Rep. No. 11, 1876, pp. 11, 13. Analyses of nine samples of bituminous coal from various 

parts of Buller coalfield are given. Some of these are quoted in the table above. 
Lab. Rep. No. 13, 1878, p. 21. Coal from Waimangaroa. 
Lab. Rep. No. 15, 1880, p. 26. Coal from Wellington Mine, Waimangaroa. 
Lab. Rep. No. 16, 1881, pp. 25, 26. Two analyses of coal from " Mount Rocbfort," and one 

of coal from " the vicinity of Westport." The latter coal decrepitates in a lively manner. 
Lab. Rep. No. 20, 1886, pp. 34-35. Three samples from Mokihinui. 
Lab. Rep. No. 23, 1889, pp. 48-9. Analyses of sample No. 4672 given and 17 other analyses 

of coal from Mokihinui quoted. Slight errors or misprints appear in three of these. 
Lab. Rep. No. 26, 1892, pp. 23, 24. Four samples from New Cardiff property ; three from 

Lab. Rep. No. 28, 1894, p. 5. Sample from New Cardiff property. 
Lab. Rep. No. 29, 1895, pp. 8, 9. Averages of seven samples from Ngakawau, and four from 

Coalbrookdale given, with comments. 
Lab. Rep. No. 30, 1897, p. 8. Sample of coal from Westport, forwarded by Mr. F. G. Newman. 
Lab. Rep. No. 33, 1900, p. 8. Sample from Cave area. New Cardiff (later Seddonville State 

Lab. Rep. No. 36, p. 4. Sample from Cave area, Seddonville State Colliery. 
Lab. Rep. No. 37, 1904, p. 8. Twenty-nine analyses of coal from Denniston and Millerton 

mines (for the Admiralty). 
Lab. Rep. No. 38, 1905, pp. 5, 7. Seventeen analyses of coal from Seddonville Colliery, and a 

large number (some giving sulphur only) of coal for the Admiralty. 
Lab. Rep. Nos. 39, 1906, p. 7; 40, 1907, p. 12 ; 41, 1908, pp. 14-15 ; 42, 1909, p. 15 ; 43, 

1910, pp. 8-9 ; and 44, 1911, pp. 10-11, give results of numerous analyses made for the 

Lab. Rep. No. 40, 1907, p. 9. Sample from Westport-Stockton property. The appendix to 

this report contains analyses of representative mine samples, some of which have already 

been quoted. 
Lab. Rep. No. 44, 1911, p. 9. Sample No. 766 from south of Mount Rochfort was forwarded 

by Mr. John Hayes. Is high in fixed carbon. 
Lab. Rep. No. 45, 1912, p. 13. Sample No. 707, from south of Mount Rochfort is high in 

fixed carbon. 
Lab. Rep. No. 46, 1913, p. 12. Sample No. 286 is presumably from Westport-Stockton lease. 

Other analyses are quoted elsewhere in this bulletin. 
Lab. Rep. No. 47, 1914, p. 16. Three analyses of samples from Cascade Creek, forwarded 

by Mr. J. H. Shackleton. Other analyses are quoted. 
Cox, S. H. : " Notes on the Mineralogy of New Zealand," Trans., vol. xv, 1883, p. 373. An 

average analysis of Westport biruminous coal and one of the crushed coal are given. 
W. P. Evans : " Analyses (Technical) of New Zealand Coals." Trans., vol. xxxi, 1899, p. 564. 

Analyses of Coalbrookdale, G-ranity Creek, and Westport-Cardiff (2) coals are given. 

The table on the next page contains analyses of various samples collected during the 
course of the geological survey in the years 1911-13. Nos. 3, 4, 7, and 8 were obtained 
through the courtesy of Mr. L A. James, formerly manager of the Seddonville State 
Colliery, and now manager of the State Coal-mines, Greymouth. 

Sulphur. — As already remarked, the sulphur-content of the bituminous coal increases 
markedly from south to north. The sulphur is irregularly distributed in the coal, and 
a sj^stematic investigation of this matter would yield some interesting results. Although 


j3 =* S_: 

-S H „ c 


rH ;d l> 

— I C5 <M 

t> ■* CO 

00 r-< 

lO o 



s « s 

O 00 
OS (N 

Or; a; 








lO OS 





(M « 






«0 (M OS 

5D lO rt 





CO CO m 




CO la 


CO 05 



eq © 

^ in 

50 lO 

s o a 

o '♦■a 






05 00 N 

CO CO -* 

















1 a +i 

w bn at 
±^ te 

O p] uQ 

■si $ 

£ g-!r a 

o tf 


W 02 00 


■a 3 






m o 

C5 O 

J o J g 



















in places iron-bisulphide (pyrite or marcasite) concretions and shells — the " brasses " 
of the miner — are plentiful, the greater part of the sulphur is evidently combined with 
hydrogen or hydrocarbons, and not with iron or other metal. This is especially the 
case with the coals from the northern part of the field, which may contain from 4 to 
6 per cent, of sulphur, together with a very low ash. The following data are of 
interest in this connection : The Admiralty cargoes of Denniston coal in 1908 contained 
on an average 1-69 per cent, of sulphur ; in 1909, 1*71 per cent. ; in 1910, 1-85 per 
cent., and in 1911, 1-59 per cent. The corresponding percentages for Millerton coal 
are 4-52, 4-16, 3'27, and 3'17 per cent. The average sulphur-content of eight samples 
of Seddonville State Colliery coal, analysed in the Dominion Laboratory, is 4-31 per 
cent., with a range of 3'30 to 4-99. Two analyses of Westport-Cardiff coal, made by 
W. P. Evans, show only 0-54 and 0-87 per cent, respectively,* whilst one of a single 
lump from the Bridge section gives 1-34 per cent, (see table on page 139). Since the 
coal of the same seam in adjoining areas is almost uniformly much higher in sulphiir. 
it is probable that Dr. Evans's samples were not representative of the run-of-mine coal. 

Dr. Evans observed that Westport-Cardiff coal, when pulverized, gave off sul- 
phuretted hydrogen at ordinary temperatures, a phenomenon which, so far as he could 
find, had not previously been recorded as happening with a hard bituminous coal.f 
The same chemist, however, had previously found that Blackball coal gives off great 
quantities of the gas at a temperature of 190°. { One of the present writers, many 
years ago, noted evidence of sulphuretted hydrogen at a small fault in a coal-mine 
near Green Island, Otago, and, as stated on a later page, Charleston lignite during 
distillation emits this gas. 

In view of the highly poisonous nature of sulphuretted hydrogen, attention may 
here be called to the possibility of its evolution in dangerous quantity in some New 
Zealand collieries, especially when coal is heating in the workings. 

Inflammability of Dust. 

As regards inflammability when in a powdered condition, the bituminous coals of 
the Westport district are believed to present much the same characters as similar coals 
from other parts of the world. The mine workings are in general damp and cool, 
and as a rule the air circulating through them is almost saturated with moisture. 
Partly for these reasons, perhaps, no dust-explosion or gas-explosion intensified by 
dust has ever occurred in the Westport mines. 

At the time of writing experiments are being made in the Dominion Laboratory 
with a view to obtaining approximate quantitative determinations of the degree of 
inflammability possessed by coal-dust from the Westport and other New Zealand 

Influence of Weathering on Composition and Physical Characters. 

Outcrop coal, if not too much exposed to sun and weather, is generally harder than 
the material mined two or three chains away under cover. Theoretically it ought to be 
somewhat higher in fixed carbon, owing to the escape of volatile constituents, but 
the rule seems to have exceptions, and some highly weathered outcrop coal, consisting 
of small cuboidal pieces, differs little in proximate composition from the run-of-mine 
fuel. The following analyses may be quoted : — 

* " Analyses (Technical) of New Zealand Coals." Trans., vol. xxxi, 1899, p. 664. 

t On the Apparent Occlusion of Sulphuretted Hydrogen in a Bituminous Coal." Trans., vol. xxxi, 
1899, pp. 566-67. 

J " On the Distillation Products of Blackball Coal." Trans., vol. xxx, 1898, p. 489. See also vol. xxxi, 
pp. 556-57. Reference to this paper was unfortunately omitted from N.Z.G.S. Bull. No, 13 (Greymouth). 




















Fixed carbon . . 
Volatile hydrocarbons 
Ash .. 

Total sulphur . . .. .. .. 2-41 1-19 2-64 

Nos. 1 and 2 give a hard coke ; No. 3 is non-coking. 

No. 1. Highly weathered coal, collected on surface near W. M. Cooper's station 

L 100, Upper Waimangaroa (north of Kiwi Compressor). 
No. 2. Weathered coal from outcrop without cover, north of Westport-Stockton 

Company's peg XII. 
No. 3. Outcrop coal from 6 ft. seam east of Upper Granity Creek. 

From these analyses it would appear that prolonged weathering alone in a wet 
temperate climate does not remove much volatile hydrocarbon, nor apparently does it 
introduce much water into an air-dried sample, unless the coal is in a constantly 
damp or wet situation, like the outcrop that furnished No. 3 sample. Many of 
the analyses quoted on later pages are of outcrop, and therefore somewhat weathered 
coal, but no marked change in composition appears to have taken place through 
exposure. The matter is one that deserves careful investigation, for the generally 
accepted views on ths subject apparently require considerable modification. 

Origin of Bituminous Coal. 

The evidence bearing on the origin of the bituminous coal-seams obtained during 
the survey of the Westport district as a whole favours the " drift theory " rather 
than the " gvo^t\i-in-sitv theory." The principal reasons for coming to this conclusion 
are those that follow : — 

1. Nothing corresponding to a true soil can be observed beneath the numerous 
outcrops of coal, nor have roots of any kind been seen in the floor of any seam. 
In many places the coal rests upon a dark carbonaceous shale which passes within 
three or four inches into bluish shale, practically devoid of vegetable remains. In 
other places the coal rests upon a very thin shaly layer, and this upon light-coloured 
sandstone or grit. Although there is not the slightest evidence of any true surface 
soil having ever existed beneath the Westport coal-seams, the reader may be reminded 
that this condition is not inconsistent with some of the more modern forms of the 
growth-m-siifw theory, which regard the original vegetable matter- as having accumulated 
under water, and repudiate the explanation of underclays as representing old soils, a 
supposition, however, which is " no doubt the chief prop of the in situ theory."* 

2. The general appearance of the strata that immediately enclose the coal-seams, 
and of the shale or sandstone bands within the seams themselves, strongly suggests 
that the substance of the coal itself, as well as the enclosing beds and the contained 
shale, &c., is water-borne. It is hardly possible to state evidence of this kind 
without long descriptions of the field occurrences, but the chief facts pointing in the 
direction indicated are the gradual passages of coal into shale through the seam 
thinning whilst roof and floor shale thicken and approach ; the manner in which seams 

* E. A. Newell Arber : " The Natural History of Coal," 1911, p. 91. 


split ;* the highly lenticular nature of the thicker deposits of coal ; the manner in 
which coal-seams thin out against ancient islands of the pre-Tertiary rocks ; the false 
bedding of the underlying and overlying sandstones and grits, which indicates the 
prevalence of strong currents capable of transporting and sorting vegetable material, &c. 
Figs. 4, 9a, 9c, 12a-e, 14, 15b, 16a, 16b, and others illustrate some of these condi- 
tions (see end of volume). 

3. The peculiar occurrences known as " doughboys " (see page 179) are perhaps 
more easily explained by the drift theory than by the gxowth-in-situ hypothesis. 

4. The resin present in the Coalbrookdale and SeddonvUle coal supports the drift 
theory, for it must almost certainly have been transported by water either as separate 
lumps or embedded in floating trees. 

5. The purity of most coal has often been adduced as an argument against the 
drift theory, and, according to Newell Arber, rightly so.f Yet, as Arber also points 
out, this consideration need not rule the drift theory out of court in every case. 
Water-sorting is quite competent to produce an accumulation of pure vegetable matter, 
and in the Westport district the coal in many places is so extremely free from ash 
that the slow accumulation of the original vegetable matter in situ without some 
sorting action to remove extraneous material appears impossible. 

The only variation of the giowth-in-sitti theory which is not inconsistent with the 
facts observed in the Westport district is that which supposes the coal-forming 
vegetation to have been fast-growing water-plants, probably gelatinous algae. Even if 
this view be adopted, the presence of resin implies transportation of part of the 

Circumstances have not permitted the writers to devote much attention to the 
study of the field evidence bearing on the origin of the Westport coal. The district, 
however, offers remarkable facilities for such a study, the natural sections of the 
coal-seams and adjoining strata being almost unrivalled elsewhere. The Greymouth 
district also affords similar sections, but forest obscures the coal-bearing strata to a 
greater extent than near Westport, and the country is more uneven in relief. With 
these New Zealand districts may be compared the Commentry coalfield in central 
France, which also is remarkable for its exposures of coal-seams and associated 
strata. Noteworthy is the fact that here also the field evidence is strongly in favour 
of the drift theory. J 

It may perhaps be as well to caution the New Zealand student against any com- 
plete acceptance of either the drift or the giowth-in-sitii theory. Both, doubtless, are 
true under some conditions, and in some cases both theories may apply to the one 
deposit. For a discussion of the whole subject the reader may be referred to the 
little book by Newell Arber already cited, and to the literature listed therein. 

Detailed Description of Outcrops, &c. 
(1.) SeddonvUle- MoMhinui District. — Two coal-seams are developed in the neighbour- 
hood of Seddonville, the lower of which, the main or SeddonvUle seam, varies from 
a few inches to 25 ft. or more in thickness. The upper seam occurs about 50 ft. above 
the lower, and as observed is from 10 in. to 25 ft. in thickness. So far as known all 
the mine-workings are on the lower seam, but the coal worked near Coal or Parenga 
Creek (Mokihinui Mine) perhaps belongs to the upper seam, here locally thickened. 

* As shown by figs. 12a-e these splits in the Westport district are not to be explained by local tilting of 
the ground as suggested by Newell Arber (op. cit, p. 113). 
t Ov- cit., p. 87. 
J Newell Arber, op. cj7., pp. 127-29. 


The main seam in this locality varies from 4 ft. or 5 ft. to 30 ft. in thickness, and 
for the sake of distinction may be called the Hut seam, a name applied by Hector 
to a portion of it. 

Owing to the greater part of the coal-bearing ground near Seddonville (together 
with a considerable area of nearly barren ground) being included in a State coal 
reserve, the outcrops will be described with a considerable amount of detail. 

On the north side of the Mokihinui River, where are several square miles of 
Eocene strata, coal is exposed only at the point on the river-bank where the old 
workings of Garvin and Batty are situated. The outcrop, which is almost at sea-level, 
appears to be not more than 5 ft. in thickness* and to have a moderate dip to the 
north-east. Directly opposite this outcrop fragments of coal occur on the surface 
near the railway-line and the road, but no outcrop is visible, although old drifts, 
now collapsed, indicate that coal has here been worked. One of these drifts, a 
heading, was driven in 1885 by the old Mokihinui Coal Company. The seam, at 
first 6 ft. thick, thinned, and at 10 chains was wholly replaced by shale. A shaft 
on the line of the heading at 20 chains from its mouth failed to find coal, but a thin 
seam is exposed on both sides of a gully another 12 chains to the southward. f In 
describing what is probably the same locality, McKayJ gives full particulars, which, 
however, differ somewhat from the information supplied to the writers. The piles of 
the railway-bridge across Chasm Creek are said to have been driven into a 7 ft. seam 
of coal, a statement which could easity be verified by boring. Between this creek 
and Page Creek, a seam of hard bright coal from 2| ft. to 5 ft. thick, doubtless the 
same as that seen across the river, outcrops at several points, and has been worked 
by means of adits, which may still be entered for short distances. The roof is 
sandstone, and the fioor consists of a thin underclay, followed by sandstone or grit. 
At a very old adit (possibly that said to have been driven by James Burnett) about 
4 chains up Chasm Creek above the road-crossing the strike is about 256°, and the dip 
6° to west of north. Elsewhere the observed strikes vary from 261° to 302°, and 
the dips from 8° to 15° to the northward or north-eastward. An upper seam, 10 in. 
thick, enclosed in sandstone, appears on a track immediately above the Chasm Creek 
bridge. R. B. Denniston gives several sections (Nos. 190 to 192) of coal-bearing 
strata in the neighbourhood of Chasm Creek.§ South-south-westward fiom the old 
workings the coal like that in the old Mokihinui Company's heading, apparently thins 
out, for it cannot be traced up Chasm Creek. Half a mile southward, however, a 
small coal-bearing area was worked by the Westport-Cardiff Coal Company. At the 
entrance to the workings the coal is at least 10 ft. thick, and, though in part some- 
what friable, is clean and of good quality. The roof consists of several feet of 
carbonaceous shale with many leaf-remains, striking almost due north, and dipping at 
10° to the eastward. Not many chains to the south are the main Westport-Cardifi 
workings, now devastated by fire. 

On a spur that trends south-westward from Chasm Creek towards the head of 
Frank Brook and shows several coal -outcrops, tlie Mines Department during 1911 did 
a considerable amount of surface prospecting. At a barometric height of 545 ft. a 
trench shows 1 ft. or a little more of coal, overlain by several feet of shale with 

* Hector reports 6 ft. (Rep. G.S. during 1871-72, No. 7, 1872, p. 141). The coal in Garvin's shaft is said 
to be 5 ft. thick. 

t Information obtained chiefly from Mr. Frank Reed, Inspecting Engineer, Mines Department, v\ho 
in 1885 was manager for the MokiMimi Coal Company. 

$ " On the Moldhinui Coalfield." Rep. G.S. during 1886-87, No. 18, 1892, pp. 162-64. 

§ Detailed Notes on the Buller Coalfield," Rep. G.S. No. 9, 1877, p. 171. The Page's Creek of Denniston 
is not the tributary of Chasm Creek, now known by that name, but Chasm Creek itself. Denniston's section 
No. 189 (" Seaton's drive ") probably refers to the same locality. 


thin coaly layers, above which is 1 ft. of coal, with a dark micaceous sandstone as 
roof. To the southward are other outcrops of poor and thin coal. At a height of 
560 ft. the following section is seen in a trench : Dark shale overlain in order by 2J ft. 
of friable coal, 2 ft. of dark shale, 2 ft. of weathered coal, 4 in. or 5 in. of carbonaceous 
sandstone, and finally a coarse sandstone or grit (see Fig. 3a). The strike is approxi- 
mately 256°, the dip 6° to east of south. At a height of 615 ft., at least 8 ft. of 
good but somewhat friable coal is seen at a small waterfall on the north side of the 
ridge. The roof consists of 10 in. of shaly sandstone, followed by sandstone and grit, 
striking 261°, and dipping at 8° to the southward (see Fig- 3b). At a height of 
915 ft. about 7 ft. of somewhat tender coal is exposed by a trench. Except for a small 
dirt-band 18 in. from the floor, the coal is clean. The floor of the seam is shale, and 
the roof is dark sandstone, striking 258°, and dipping 15° to the east of south. An 
analysis of a representative sample of the coal is given on page 139 (No. 2). 

Nine chains west of the last-mentioned outcrop is 5| ft. of hard but somewhat 
impure coal, whilst 12 to 14 chains south-westward, at a height of 855 ft., an outcrop 
of coal, 6 ft. to 6| ft. thick, is seen under a small waterfall. The upper 2 ft. consists 
of good hard coal, .but the lower 4 ft. or more is in part friable, and in part impure 
" bony " or " splint " coal. The floor is not clearly observable, but fine-grained dark 
sandstone passing downwards into a gritty rock appears a little below the coal. The 
roof is sandstone, fine-grained for the first foot, striking 280°, and having a southerly 
dip of 10°. A small farrlt with downthrow to the eastward is visible in the section 

The dips and strikes of the strata when plotted show that more than one fault 
with upthrow to the southward must traverse the area containing the outcrops just 
described. The narrowness of the ridge and the thinness or poor quality of several 
of the outcrops leave little hope that the coal can be profitably extracted under present- 
day conditions. The workable area is probably not more than 18 or 20 acres. Not 
far to the southward, however, is the Bridge section of the Westport-Cardifi Mine. 

Almost continuous outcrops of coal are visible on both sides of Chasm Creek 
gorge from a mile and a quarter to nearly three miles above the mouth of the stream. 
The outcrop coal on the eastern side is almost everywhere of good quality, and is thin 
only between the Cave and Grant's Face sections of the State mine. Elsewhere it is 
from 8 ft. to 25 ft. thick. The coal has been extensively worked by the Westport- 
Cardiff Company (Hector section) and by the State, but unfortunately in the workings it 
is not so good as promised by the outcrops, though the thickness is_ well maintained. In 
particular, much is friable, and therefore has not been extracted to any great extent. 
Several faults of varying throw traverse the coal-bearing area, and have tended to 
prevent it from being economically mined. 

On the western side of Chasm Creek the coal varies greatly in thickness and 
quality. In the Bridge section of the Westport-Cardiff Mine the outcrop is over 
20 ft. thick, and in the -workings a similar thickness seems to be maintained. The coal, 
though in places friable, especially near rolls, is usually hard, and in general is of 
fair to good quality. The faces, many of which are still accessible, show one or two 
small dirt-bands, and a few cracks filled with sandstone. " Rolls "' and small faults 
or " troubles " are somewhat common. To the north-west of the Bridge section the 
coal is cut off by a deep gully, whilst to the south there is a large fault, with upthrow 
in that direction, so that the workable area is limited to a comparatively small tri- 
angular patch, and any adjoining coal would have to be worked as a separate section. 
Southward from the fault mentioned above, 20 ft. or more of decidedly poor coal out- 
crops for several chains. The seam contains several dirt or shale bands, but improves 
southward, until about 10 chains from the first break a second fault with a southerly 


upthrow of 180 ft. or more cuts it off. The next outcrop, at a barometric height of 
610 ft., shows only 4| ft. of dirty friable coal. An analysis of this is given in the 
table on page 139 (No. 4). A quarter of a mile south of the last fault, at a point 
750 ft. above sea-level, is 9 ft. of good though somewhat friable coal, dipping gently 
to the north-west. Immediately to the south-east is a considerable fault with down- 
throw in that direction. The outcrops of coal seen for the next mile, as disclosed by 
prospecting operations during the early part of 1911, are: (a) 3 ft. of good coal, followed 
upwards by 18 in. shale, 1 ft. splint coal, and 8 in. good coal ; (b) 3 ft. 8 in. coal, of 
which only the top 14 in. or so is hard ; (c) 4 ft. 4 in. coal, of which the upper 16 in. 
is good, the rest very poor and dirty ; (d) 4 ft. coal (floor not seen) ; (e) 7 ft. coal, 
with shaly roof and floor ; (/) 1 ft. to 2 ft. coal with shaly roof and sandstone floor ; 
(g) small outcrop of natural coke (see page 171) ; (h) 18 ft. of good coal (Dove's drive) ; 
(i) 9 ft. coal, with 4 in. shale and dirt band near the top ; (j) 8 ft. coal resting on 
3 ft. of shale, underlain by 1 ft. to 1|- ft. coal (see Fig. 4) ; {k) over 9 ft. coal, with 
floor not seen (Bridge section of State mine) ; (l) 10 ft. coal underlain by 1 in. of shale 
and a further thickness of coal, with floor not seen (Bridge section of State Mine). 

In the Seddonville State Colliery the coal as worked in the Cave and Grant's 
Face sections varied from less than 8 ft. to fully 25 ft. in thickness, and was usually 
from 14 ft. to 16 ft. thick. At the Chasm Creek mouth of the main tunnel (above 
the bridge), a 3 ft. to 4 ft. band of sandstone appears in the lower part of the seam. 
Opposite the bridge, a few chains to the westward, where the main haulage-line reaches 
Chasm Creek gorge, the coal is at least 15 ft. thick, and the sandstone band is 
apparently represented only by a thin shaly parting. Elsewhere there are small bands 
of sandstone and shale, but these did not cause much trouble in the working of the 
coal. In places there are narrow vertical fissures or cracks filled with sandstone, one 
or two of which are large enough to bring to mind the so-called " sandstone dykes " 
observed in some foreign localities. The singular occurrences known as " doughboys " 
are described elsewhere (page 179). Near any of the numerous rolls the coal usually 
becomes friable and dirty, then thins, and concurrently the floor rises. In places, the 
roof having sagged so as to approach the floor, the coal, being apparently squeezed 
to one side or the other, is reduced to a foot or two in thickness. Beyond the roll 
the seam assumes its ordinary thickness and quality. Most of the rolls are attended 
by a rise or drop of the seam, and are thus equivalent to faults, into which, as a 
matter of fact, many actually pass. Thus it is not always possible to distinguish 
between rolls and minor faults, both being expressions of movement affecting the coal- 
bearing strata. 

To the south-west of the State mine Bridge section the ground has been hand- 
bored with unsatisfactory results. The coal thins to 7-| ft. in a few chains, and at 
a distance of little over a quarter of a mile completely disappears, apparently owing 
to an ancient ridge or island of granite rising above the level at which the coal vege- 
tation was deposited. 

All the coal outcrops in Chasm Creek hitherto mentioned belong to the lower or 
Seddonville seam, and are overlain by 50 ft. to 100 ft. of sandstone and grit containing 
minor shale-bands and the small upper coal-seam previously mentioned. Under the 
main seam comes a shale, bluish in colour except close to the coal, where it becomes 
black from admixture of carbonaceous material. Its thickness varies from a few inches 
to several feet. The shale is underlain by sandstone or grit, which passes into a pebble- 
bed or a conglomerate of no great thickness or prominence. This rests on granite, 
or, in places, hornfels of the Aorere Series. 

The dip of the coal-measures near Seddonville, though almost everywhere moderate, 
is so irregular in direction that a verbal description is of little value, and only by large 
10— Buller-Mokihinui. 


scale maps can it be clearly indicated. In general it is north-eastward, but in many 
localities it inclines to the southward. Faults determine the actual position of the 
coal to nearly as great an extent as its dip, and are in practice of more than equal 
importance in influencing the location of workings. 

A few chains to the south-east of the Bridge section of the Seddonville Colliery 
coal is exposed in a trench at a height of 480 ft. or 500 ft. above sea-level. A few 
chains farther to the south-east 4 ft. of hard but apparently somewhat impure (splinty) 
coal resting on shale is seen in a rill gutter at a height of about 600 ft. The roof 
is not visible, and the seam is probably much thicker than 4 ft., for a trench only 
a chain away exposes at least 14 ft. of coal. A few chains to the south-east coal, under- 
lain by sandstone, again outcrops, but the seam has been largely denuded, so that its 
original thickness cannot be ascertained. Apparently a fault with upthrow of over 
100 ft. to the south-east separates the first outcrop at a height of 480 ft. from the 
other coal-outcrops, which presumably belong to the same seam, the Seddonville, but 
it is not certain that the identification holds good. 

About 50 chains to the southward of the last-mentioned outcrop coal appears on 
the west bank of Chasm Creek, immediately south of the fault. Here from 5 ft. to 
7 ft. of coal (floor of seam out of sight*) containing a 3 in. shale band is visible. Two 
cha,ins up-stream the shale is 1 ft. 7 in. thick, with 1 ft. 8 in. coal above it and 2 ft. 
10 in. below. A little farther up-stream the coal passes below water-level. The stone 
is here 4 ft. thick, whilst the top coal has dwindled to 1 ft. 3 in. Figs. 4a and 4b 
illustrate the section in this locality, which has also been described by R B. Denniston. 
(See Section No. 185 of his report."}") An analysis of the top coal is given on page 139. 
The upper Chasm Creek coal, and an outcrop half a mile to the westward on the 
Yellow Silver-pine Exploration Company's tramway are almost directly overlain by dark 
marine sandstone, passing into mudstone, and may be correlated with the outcrops in 
Coal Creek valley described in the next paragraph as belonging to the Hut seam. 

Half a mile from the terminus of the Seddonville-Mokihinui Mine railway-line, 
between the two bridges over Coal or Parenga Creek, a 1 ft. coal-seam outcrops on 
the steep slope to the eastward. The roof is grit, and the floor 2 ft. of shaly sandstone 
underlain by ordinary sandstone. These rocks dip gently to the north or north-west. 
Opposite the end of the railway coal over 8 ft. thick outcrops on the east side of 
Coal Creek. This is the so-called Hut seam, which outcrops for 6 chains or more 
up the stream, and is then cut off b}^ a fault. Narrow workings extend on this seam 
for 600 ft. to the dip. The roof is sandstone, or in one place grit, and contains a 
thin coal-seam about 3 ft. above the main body. Twenty-five chains above the rail- 
head is the spot on the west side of Coal Creek where Sir James Hector saw a 32 ft. 
face of coal,J but this, through removal by working and through the ravages of 
fire, has disappeared. The extent of the fire is marked by 2 or 3 acres of half- 
bricked, tumbled masses of mudstone, with a few small steam-jets depositing sulphur 
and alum-like incrustations. Two or three chains above the point where the mine- 
entrance used to be a small outcrop of good, though somewhat friable, coal containing 
resin appears on the west bank of the creek at water-level. Bight or ten chains 
above this, roughly at 300 ft.§ above sea-level, 12 ft. or more of solid coal outcrops 
close to the creek. Its roof is a micaceous gritty mudstone, probably of marine 
origin. Fifteen chains to the southward 2 ft. of shale and impure coal, underlain by 

* McKay (G.S. Rep. No. 21, 1892, p. 83) gives the thickness of the coal as 10 ft., but this is probably 
second-hand information. 

t "Detailed Notes on the Buller Coalfield." Rep. G.S., No. 9, 1877, p. 170. 

J " On the Mokihinui Coalfield." Rep. G.S. during 1886-87, No. 18, 1887, pp. 157 et seq. 

§ This barometric height and many others ought perhaps to be shghtly .reduced, but no certain correction 
oaa be applied. 

147 • 

dark micaceous sandstone and overlain by grit, outcrops at 320 ft. above sea-level. 
The strike of the beds varies from north to north-north-east ; the dip is 10° to the 
eastward. In his report of 1877 Denniston gives three sections seen on the banks of 
Coal Creek (Nos. 186 to 188, page 170). 

In the valley of Cascade Creek, which enters Coal Creek near Mokihinui Mine 
Railway-station, are various outcrops of coal, averaging 5 ft. to 6 ft. in thickness. 
These were explored by the old Mokihinui Company and by co-operative parties of 
miners (see Chapter II) with unsatisfactory results, the coal being in many places 
friable or dirty. There are also several outcrops on the Yellow Silver-pine Exploration 
Company's tram-line in the same locality, one of which is illustrated by Fig. 5. 

Though Hector and McKay consider that the 32 ft. seam is distinct from the Hut 
seam, which they correlated with a 7|- ft. seam said to have been found by boring 22-| ft. 
below the big seam, the various outcrops near Mokihinui Mine may well be regarded as 
belonging to one seam, which in places has a split. Unfortunately, the 32 ft. coal 
thins both to the southward and the north-westward. To the eastward the coal, 
owing to its dip, passes under an increasing cover of Kaiata mudstone. Probably it 
lives to the Glasgow fault, but only by actual exploration can its thickness and quality 
be determined. There is, however, much reason to fear that such coal as exists will 
be much disturbed by faulting. 

The Seddonville- Mokihinui area, concerning which high hopes were once entertained, 
has been extensively tested by actual working during the past half-century. The 
results, as is well known, have been unsatisfactory, both to private persons and to 
the State, though, as may be pointed out, the profit obtained from the working of the 
railway and the promotion of settlement offset the mining losses to some extent. The 
coal-seams are remarkably variable in thickness and quality, whilst faulting of the 
measures offers considerable impediment to systematic development. Hence, under 
present conditions, there can be but little inducement to work the remaining known 
patches of coal, such as the Cardiff Bridge section. The Seddonville flats and an 
area east of Coal Creek are underlain at some depth by the coal-horizon. Boring, 
however, is needed in order to prove the presence or absence of workable coal. 
Again, on the north side of the Mokihinui River is a considerable extent of country 
underlain by coal-measures, and though these certainly thin out to the northward, 
there remains a possible coal-bearing territory of some size. 

Analyses of Seddonville-Mokihinui coal are given in the table on page 137. Four 
■analyses of samples collected during the recent geological survey are given on page 139, 
and a number of others will be found in the Colonial or Dominion Laboratory reports, 
and in old Geological Survey reports.* 

(2.) Charming Greek Area. — On the precipitous north bank of the Ngakawau River, 
a few chains below its junction with Charming Creek, are two small irregular coaly 
seams, the outcrops of which may be reached by means of the tram-line from Watson's 
sawmill. The enclosing sandstone and grit strike about 344°, and dip at 10° to the 
north of east. To the northward, near the sawmill, and at a higher horizon, a 6 in. 
coal-seam, striking 264°, and dipping at 12° to the northward, outcrops on the west 
side of Charming Creek. East of the sawmill what may be the same seam is repre- 
sented by 14 in. of coal outcropping on the southern bank of Charming Creek at a 
height of about 200 ft. above sea-level. The enclosing strata are gritty sandstones, above 
which comes sandy mudstone of marine origin (Kaiata beds). These rocks strike 
between 262° and 280°, and dip at 10° to 13° to the northward. For a mile and a 
half to the north-east only mudstone is seen in the bed of Charming Creek, but a 

* See Rej). G.S. No. 18. 1887. j). 150 ; and Rep. G.S. No. 21, 1892. pp. 85, 94. 
10*— Buller-MokihiQui 


little below the junction of Rod Brook 9 in. of impure coal, striking 239° and dipping 
at 5° to the north-west, appears on the southern bank. The seam is enclosed in 
sandstone, passing upward into marine mudstone. East of the point where McKenzie 
Brook joins Charming Creek a coal-seam from 9 in. to 2 ft. thick outcrops at a number 
of places in or near the creek, at heights of from 400 ft. to 500 ft. above sea-level. One 
of the sections observed is illustrated by Fig. 6. From the maps it will be seen that 
the strike of the enclosing strata is variable, and that their dip varies from 3° to 15°. 
The maps also show a number of minor faults, several of which give rise to small 
waterfalls in Charming Creek. The small seam just mentioned corresponds in horizon 
to the upper seam at Seddonville, and therefore the Mines Department, a few years 
ago, drilled a series of boreholes in order to determine the existence or absence of a 
lower seam corresponding to that worked at Seddonville. In all, sixteen bores, the 
positions of which are shown on the maps, were drilled, with the result that a seam 
of good coal was found to underlie a portion of Charming Creek Valley. Some details 
of the bores are as follows : — 

No. 1 bore (about one mile and a half south-west of Cave workings, Seddonville 
Mine), 114 ft. deep: At 39 ft. 6 in., 1ft. Sin. of coal (upper seam); at 91ft., 17 ft. of 
hard coal followed by 3 ft. friable coal (lower or main seam). Analyses of the coal 
will be found at the end of this section. 

No. 2 bore (north-east of No. 1), 315 ft. deep: Traces of coal at 183 ft.; 2 ft. 6 in. 
of coal at 190 ft. 2 in., followed by Sin. of hard sandstone and 10 in. more of coal 
(probably lower seam). 

No. 3 bore (near Watson's sawmill), 370 ft. deep : Reached gneiss, but found no 
coal. This result could have been predicted as probable from the geology of the 
neighbouring area. 

No. 4 bore (north-east of No. 3), 525 ft. deep : Reached granite or gneiss, but 
found no coal. This result agrees with the geological indications. 

No. 5 bore (west of No. 1), 95 ft. deep : At 35 ft., 2^ ft. coal (upper seam) ; 
at 75 ft., 20 ft. of coal (lower seam). 

No. 6 bore (south of Charming Creek, near Reed Brook junction), 330ft. deep: 
At 226 ft., 2 ft. 6 in. of coal (lower seam) ; gneiss from 315 ft. to bottom. 

No. 7 bore (south-east of No. 1), 167 ft. deep : At 38 ft., 3 ft. coal and shale 
(upper seam). Main seam not found — has thinned out. Bottom of bore in coarse grit. 

No. 8 bore (north-west of No. 1), 119 ft. deep : At 81 ft., 2 ft. 6 in. of friable 
dirty coal followed by 19 ft. 3 in. of hard coal (main seam) ; at 115 ft. gneiss. 
An analysis of the coal is given at the end of this section. 

No. 9 bore (north of No. 8), 185 ft. deep : At 100 ft. to 110 ft. broken coal and 
brown shale ; at 140 ft. to 185 ft. conglomerate. 

No. 10 bore (north-east of No. 8), 147 ft. deep : At 103 ft., 20 ft. of clean coal 
(main seam) ; at 142 ft. to 147 ft., conglomerate. 

No. 11 bore (north-east of No. 10), 156 ft. deep : At 6 ft., 2 ft. coal (perhaps 
the upper seam) ; at 23 ft., 1 ft. dirt)^ coal. Layers of conglomerate at 44 ft., 52 ft., 
and 64 ft., and from 70 ft. to bottom of hole with the exception of brown shale at 
88 ft. to 92 ft. 

No. 12 bore (between Nos. 10 and 11), 136 ft. deep : At 46 ft., li ft. coal (? upper 
seam) ; at 79 ft. 6 in., 4| ft. coal ; and at 86 ft., 3 ft. coal (these two seams may 
together represent the main seam) ; at 101 ft. 6 in., 6 in. coal ; at 113 ft. to 136 ft., 

No. 13 bore (north-east of No. 11), 111ft. deep: At 8 ft. 6 in., 1ft. 6 in. brown 
shale with bands of coal ; at 19 ft., 5 ft. coal (probably lower seam) ; from 78 ft. to 
bottom, conglomerate. 


No. 14 bore (north-east of No. 13, on Chasm Creek side of watershed), 124 ft. 
deep : At 74 ft., 1 ft. coal ; at 75 ft., 1 ft. 6 in. brown shale with coal bands ; at 
76 ft. 6 in., 4 ft. 6 in. coal ; at 119 ft. to bottom, gneiss. The horizon from 74 ft. to 
82 ft. may be considered to represent the main or lower seam. 

No. 15 bore (south-west of No. 1), 110 ft. deep : At 15 ft., 1 ft. coal (upper 6 in. 
dirty) ; at 22 ft., 2 ft. dirty coal ; at 53 ft., 3 ft. coal ; at 90 ft. to bottom, granite. 

No. 16 bore (between Nos. 6 and 9), 189 ft. deep : No coal. Coarse conglomerate 
from 164 ft. to the bottom. 


Near the head of Frank Brook, a tributary of Eeed Brook, is a thin outcrop of 
coal which is associated with sandstone and grit and probably belongs to the horizon 
of the lower seam. Somewhat more than half a mile to the west of north loose 
coal was seen at 840 ft. above sea-level in a branch of Patten Creek, a stream 
draining part of the western slope of Eadcliffe Ridge. Thin outcrops of coal have been 
reported from this locality, and doubtless occur, though none was actually seen by the 
Geological Survey party. 

About 30 chains north-east of No. 2 bore, 4 ft. of fairly good but friable coal is 
exposed in a short prospecting-drift at a height of 560 ft. above sea-level. The coal, 
which lies nearly flat, has a dark shaly roof and a fireclay floor. Nine chains south 
of trig, station AQ, 18 in. of good coal, underlain by 6 in. of dirty shaly coal, outcrops 
in a small gully at a height of 680 ft. The roof is sandstone, and the floor dark 
shaly sandstone, striking 310° and dipping at 8° to the south-west. A thick but 
friable coal-seam was exposed in 1911 during the construction of the Yellow Silver-pine 
Exploration Company's tram-line at a point 20 chains south-south-east of the last- 
mentioned outcrop. Its horizon is probably the same as that of the Hut seam and of 
the coal which outcrops in Chasm Creek 36 chains to the eastward. 

The upper seam in the Charming Creek valley is everywhere too small to be 
worked under New Zealand conditions. The lower seam, however, has a maximum 
thickness of 21ft. 9 in. (at bore No. 8), and bores Nos. 1, 5, and 10 each show 20 ft. 
of coal. The seam, however, rapidly thins in all directions outside the triangle formed 
by bores 1, 5, and 10, so that the proved area of workable coal does not exceed 
200 acres. East, south, and west of this area the coal ultimately completely dis- 
appears. North-eastward, as shown by bores 12, 11, 13, and 14, coal continues into 
Chasm Creek valley, but is only from 2 ft. to 5 ft. thick, and, according to the 
driller's reports, is not of good quality. 

Though an inclined drift or dip is quite practicable, the Charming Creek field can 
be best worked from a shaft placed near No. 5 bore, and in either case the mine- 
water will have to be pumped from a depth of about 100 ft. Since the coal is 
nowhere deep, the actual opening out of a mine will not be a very costly undertaking, 
but as regards transport to the railway the case is far different. The most economical 
plan appears to be the construction of an endless-rope tramway to Seddonville passing 
through tunnels on either side of Chasm Creek, and crossing that stream by means of 
a bridge. An alternative is a railway up the Ngakawau River and Charming Creek, 
which would be exceedingly expensive to construct, but would save eleven miles of 
haulage on the main railway-line. Other plans may be suggested, but all would be 
costly, and under present conditions • there is little probability of the outlay being 
repaid by the profit derived from the sale of the coal. Roughly, the proved workable 
coal may be estimated at 1,500,000 tons, and the highly probable workable coal at an 
additional 900,000 tons. The extractable coal cannot be estimated on account of 
various unknown factors. Only in case of an assured working-profit exceeding 2s. 6d. 
per ton on all coal handled can the project of mining the Charming Creek area be 


considered commercially feasible.* So far as proved by the bores, most of the coal 
is hard and, to the eye, of good appearance, but more analyses are necessary in order 
to ascertain its exact quality, for the material from Nos. 1 and 8 bores of which 
analyses are quoted below was contaminated by shale, some of which came from stone 
bands in the coal-seam itself, and some, but probably not a great deal, from the sides 
of the bores above the coal. 

These analyses are as follows : — 

1. ■ 








Fixed carbon 









Volatile hydrocarbons. . 




































Total sulphur per cent. 









Calories per gram 
British thermal units 


per pound 
Evaporative power per 
pound in pounds of 

water at 212° F.f 



Specific gravity 



(1.) First coal sample from No. 1 bore. 

(2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Samples at 6 ft., 10 ft., 13 ft., 16 ft., and 20 ft. in coal, No. 1 bore. Fairly 

bright and hard coal. Contains pieces of carbonaceous shale. That from 20 ft. is 

(7.) Analysis of samples 1-6 mixed. 

(8.) Coal from No. 8 bore. Hard coal, varying from bright to dull in lustre. 
According to separate tests, the bright coal from No. 8 bore contains 4-20 per cent, 
of ash, and the intermixed carbonaceous shale 46-70 per cent. 

(3.) Blackburn Area. — Between Upper Chasm Creek and the Upper Ngakawau Eiver 
is a considerable area covered by Kaiata mudstone, beneath which there ma}' or may 
not be a productive coal horizon. So far as the occurrence of inliers of gneiss or 
granite without encircling outcrops of coal enables deductions to be made, so far 
must the inference be drawn that coal is not present except possibly towards the 
Glasgow fault. In the Blackburn Valley, however, thick outcrops of coal appear, 
and the probability of a workable field may be granted. The district is most easily 
reached from the Westport-Stockton lease, but access is also given by the Mokihinui- 
Lyell foot-track, which passes through the eastern part of the possible coal-bearing 
area. A branch track (not shown on the maps) leads from the north side of 
St. George Stream to the junction of that stream and the Ngakawau River. The 
Yellow Silver-pine Exploration Company's tram-line affords yet another route to the 

A quarter of a mile above the mouth of St. George Stream the Blackburn Stream 
enters the Ngakawau at a point 760 ft. above sea-level. For half a mile or more 

* The possibilities of the Charming Creek area are discussed ia the Fifth Ann. Rep., N.Z.G.S., 1911, p. 9 ; 
and in Appendix B of Mines Report, C.-2, 1912, pp. 102-3. (See also map opposite p. 104.) 

t Practical evaporative power may be taken as 60 per cent, of evaporative power as calculated from the 
calorimeter test. 

above its mouth the Blackburn cuts through Kaiata mudstone, this being succeeded 
by gneiss and granite, which form the walls of a rugged gorge. Above the gorge 
mudstone with many calcareous concretions again appears for some distance. Gneiss, 
with bands and irregular masses of pegmatite and ordinary granite, next forms the 
stream-bed. In places a little conglomerate and grit may be seen resting on the 
gneissic rock. About two miles above the mouth of the stream the gneiss disappears, 
and a dark micaceous mudstone, in places shaly, becomes the prevailing rock. This at 
two miles and a half passes into or is underlain by sandstone and grit. In these 
rocks, which strike 204°, and dip 10° to the east-south-east, two small coal-seams, 
one 3 in. thick and the other 8 in. or 9 in. thick, are visible. Somewhat higher up 
the stream the following section is seen : Grit, succeeded in downward order by 10 in. 
to 12 in. dark shale, 9 in. coal, 2 in. to 3 in. shale, 7 in. coal, 5 in. carbonaceous shale, 
micaceous shale (see Fig. 7a). These rocks strike 236°, and dip at 12° to the south- 
east. A small outcrop of granite next appears, ended by a considerable fault, beyond 
which is mudstone. Five chains above the granite a small stream enters the Blackburn 
from the westward, and less than 2 chains up is a fault, in which some crushed coal 
seems to be involved. Beyond this clean hard coal outcrops for over 20 ft. in the 
stream-bed at a height of approximately 960 ft. above sea-level. The total thickness of 
coal cannot be estimated from the exposure, but exceeds 10 ft., and may be much 
more. The roof, which is decidedly irregular, consists of grit, passing into fine sand 
stone. This again passes into mudstone, shaly in its lower laj-ers, of which a thick 
ness of 60 ft. or 70 ft. is visible in the cliff formed by a waterfall at this point. The 
strata have a very slight dip to the south-westward. They are diagramatically illus- 
trated by Fig. 7b. 

For some distance up-stream the principal rock is a marine shaly mudstone or 
sandstone, striking about 210°, and dipping at 10° to 25° to the east-south-east. Search 
to the westward should therefore reveal outcropping coal. About 50 chains above the 
coal-outcrop just mentioned a large open flat — #e Blackburn pakihi — appears on the 
western side of the stream. Opposite a small isolated hill* of Kaiata mudstone, which 
occupies a bend of the stream, the following section is seen on the left bank, at a 
height of 1,130 ft. or 1,140 ft. : Shaly sandstone, followed downwards by 18 in. grit, 
6 in. coal, 8 in. dark grit, 3 to 4 in. coal and shale, dark grit. These beds dip gently 
to the southward. Denniston's section No. 175 (page 169 of report) probably refers 
to this locality. 

The seam observed at 960 ft. above sed-level may be expected to outcrop not far 
to the westward,! but up-stream nothing of interest is seen until, at a spot nearly a 
mile and a quarter to the south-south-westward, thick and clean coal appears in the bed 
of a small rill draining into the Blackburn. From this point coal of good quality and 
thickness may be traced southward to the low ridge dividing the head of the Black- 
burn from the Mackley watershed. The most striking outcrop is about 1,300 ft. above 
sea-level, and forms a ring round a ilat-topped hillock three-quarters of a mile west of 
trig, station J ; 25 ft. of clean hard coal is here clearly visible, and there is a further 
thickness not well seen owing to a talus accumulation, but on tiie supposition that 
there are no shale-bands the seam must be over 40 ft. thick. The roof is shale, capped 
by sandstone, striking nearly east and west, and dipping 10° or less to the north. An 
analysis of the coal is given on page 139. With the observations here given may be 
compared Denniston's section No. 171 (p. 168 of his report), which refers to the same 

* This hill is probably that mentioned as " Island Hill " by R. B. Denniston, See G.S. Rep. No. 9. 1877. 
p. 169, and " Section through Orikaka (sic) Valley N.S.," opposite p. 112. 

f Cox and ni'ntii.><ton mention a 10 fl. outcrop "north from Island Hill." Sco op. cit, pp. 117, 109 
(Denniston's section No. 174). 


Seven chains north of the coal hill, hard clean coal, evidently belonging to the seam 
there exposed, outcrops for 50 yards in the bed of a rill flowing through a bushed 
gully. This is probably Denniston's section No. 179. At 12 chains to the north- 
north-east several feet of coal is exposed in the bed of the main branch of the Black- 
burn. Three chains down-stream the following section is visible on the north bank : 
10 ft. sandstone, underlain by 6 in. shale, and 2|- ft. of somewhat poor coal, with a 
shaly floor, striking 340°, and dipping 10° to east-north-east. The outcrops just men- 
tioned probably, but not certainly, belong to a seam at a lower horizon than the 
large seam shown by the pakihi outcrops. A quarter of a mile east-north-east of the 
coal hillock, close to an old peg of W. M. Cooper's marked " 1," 8 to 10 ft. (perhaps 
more) of very clean coal outcrops at 1,340 ft. above sea-level. The floor is dark sand- 
stone ; the roof consists of 6 ft. sandstone, followed by shale. A small flat-topped 
hill 15 to 20 chains to the north-north-east (station H 36 of W. M. Cooper) shows on 
its western side 6 ft. of coal, capped by sandstone, but the floor is not seen. 

Twenty-nine chains west of trig, station J, 8| ft. of hard coal (roof eroded), resting 
on shale, outcrops in a small gully. Lower down the same gully, and also towards its 
head, are various other coal-outcrops, but owing to the imperfection of the exposures the 
true thickness of the seam is nowhere apparent. In the absence' of definite evidence 
it may be assumed that the coal exposed in this locality belongs to the large seam- of 
the coal hill or island, nearly half a mile to the west-north-west. Since, however, the 
coal is near the basal ancient rocks of pre-Tertiary age, it may belong to a lower 

Denniston's sections Nos. 170 to 180 (pp. 169-70 of report) refer to outcrops in 
the Blackburn area, but only a few of the localities can now be certainly ascertained. 

From the head of Blackburn pakihi to the thick coal-outcrop near Blackburn 
Stream at 960 ft. above sea-level is a distance of approximately three miles, throughout 
which a coal-bearing horizon is exposed or is near the actual surface. Much prospect- 
ing, however, is necessary before th4§presence or absence of workable coal in the two 
and a quarter miles between the known outcrops can be ascertained. In places surface 
trenching will reveal coal, but elsewhere shallow bores somewhat to the cast of the 
probable line of outcrop will in general give more satisfactory results. In order to 
prove the coal to the dip — that is, to the eastward — bores of some depth will be 
necessary. Although, as may be seen upon inspection of the maps, the possible coal- 
bearing area is large, extending eastward to the foot of Mount Berners (trig, station 
AD), and north-eastward to the Glasgow fault, experience in other portions of the 
Westport district shows that workable coal as a rule is not continuous for great dis- 
tances. In this connection the Charming Creek coal-basin may be mentioned as perhaps 
an extreme instance of lenticularity in a coal-seam, but one which serves to show the 
need of proper exploration before estimates of quantity can be made. Actually the 
proved coal of the Blackburn district is comparatively small in quantity, and cannot 
be considered to exceed 3,000,000 tons, as estimated in a later section of this chapter. 

(4.) MacJcley or Orikaka Valley. — On or near the low ridge that trends westward 
from trig, station J and separates the head of Blackburn Stream from the Mackley 
Valley are various coal-outcrops, most of which are thin, and none of importance. 
Southward from this ridge stretches, between Tiger Creek and the Mackley, country of 
moderate relief, partly covered by low forest and scrub, partly almost bare of vegetation. 
This area was surveyed by W. M. Cooper, for a number of his pegs have been found, 
but only a small portion of it was included in the published maps of his surveys. 
From it the coal-measures have been almost entirely stripped by denudation, but a few 
patches, easily distinguished from a distance by the absence of forest and the nearly 

153 . 

flat or gently sloping surface in accordance with the bedding, still remain. The largest 
and most southern of these patches, known to the Geological Survey party as Tigei- 
pakihi, has a length of 64 chains, with a maximum width of 47 chains. The north- 
eastern part contains a few acres of coal-bearing ground, but the remainder shows 
only barren grit, overlying gneissic and allied rocks. One of the more northerly out- 
crops of the coal-measures shows the following section at a point 1,310 ft. above sea- 
level : 10 ft. grit, underlain by 7 ft. sandstone with a little shale ; 3| ft. good coal ; 2 ft. 
shale ; and 20 ft. sandstone passing into grit. These beds strike on the average 276°, 
and have a southerly dip of 8°. Fourteen chains to the southward, also at a height 
of 1,310 ft., 11 ft. coal, which has been prospected by a short drift, is visible. The 
immediate floor is shale, and the roof consists of 15 ft. of sandstone. The analysis of a 
sample of the coal appears on page 139 (No. 11). 

Less than a mile south of Tiger pakihi, but separated from it by the deep gorge 
of the Mackley Eiver, is a long, somewhat narrow strip of pakihi at much the same 
elevation, which is traversed by the so-called Buller County Council prospecting-track. 
The lower grits and sandstones of the coal-measures form its surface, but only a very 
small portion is coal-bearing. A section exposed at a height of 1,290 ft. in a little 
rill-bed near the centre of the pakihi is as follows : 4 ft. of coal (roof not visible) 
underlain by 4 in. shale ; 6 in. coal ; 6 ft. shale and sandstone with two little coal- 
seams. These beds lie almost horizontal. South-eastward, in several of the little 
streams draining into Plateau Creek, more or less loose coal may be seen, but it is 
quite evident that this locality is denuded pi all workable coal. 

The grits of the pakihi mentioned above appear to extend into a large forested 
district to the east and north-east, which is shown by the map as occupied by rocks 
of the Eocene coal-measures. The total area so covered, including the pakihi and a 
portion east of trig. J, which is almost cut off by the gneissic , rocks of the Mackley 
Gorge and of Mount Berners, is roughly 11^ square miles. In all this country only 
two outcrops of coal have been found.* One of these consists of a small impure seam 
between 6 in. and 12 in. thick, which is visible at the foot of a sandstone cliff close 
to the Mackley Eiver, 48 chains south-east of trig, station J, and 900 ft. above sea- 
level. The other outcrop is on the left (here the western) bank of the Mackley, about 
a quarter of a mile above Mossy Creek junction, and at a height of approximately 
1,130 ft. above sea-level. The coal is 3-| ft. thick, hard, and of moderately good quality 
(see analysis on page 139). The roof is dark sandstone, and the floor shale, underlain by 
a thin stratum of conglomerate, which rests on. gneissic rocks. The coal strikes 295°, 
and dips a little over 14° to the south-south-west, but in this direction is cut off by 
a fault within a few feet. 

The only other indication of coal observed during the geological survey of the 
Upper Mackley Valley consisted of coaly streaks in sandstone near the Mokihinui-Lyell 
track east of Mount Berners (trig, station AD). In addition Mi-. J. M. Cadigan, 
who was attached to the survey party as chainman during a period subsequent to the 
survey of the Mackley country, reported that during a prospecting expedition some 
years previously he had seen 8 ft. of coal a short distance south of the Mackley near 
the point where the Glasgow fault crosses. To the writers it seems probable that 
this coal is not of Eocene age, but is brown or pitch coal belonging to the Oamaru 
Series. In that case the strip of Miocene rocks shown on the map as ending half a 
mile south of the Orikaka ought to be extended somewhat to the northward. An 
alternative hypothesis is that the outcrop occurs in a fault-involved strip of the lower 
Eocene coal-beds. Though, unfortunately, no opportunity of investigating the occurrence 
presented itself, the matter is not one of pressing economic importance. 

* In addition to that mentioned above. 


It seems likely that the Blackburn seam lives into a portion of the area between 
trig. J and the foot of Mount Berners, whilst the 3f ft. coal seen in the Mackley above 
Mossy Creek junction must have some extension to the southward into an unexplored 
area. For these reasons prospecting along the boundary-line between the Eocene coal- 
measures and the gneissic rocks would probably reveal coal-outcrops. 

On the eastern slope of Mount William Range are several patches of Eocene coal- 
measures, the remains of the once continuous sheet that extended over the whole of the 
Mackley Valley. Owing to denudation, practically no coal now remains, except near 
the crest of the range, a locality described on a later page. 

Southward the main block of Eocene coal-measures in part terminates against 
granite and gneiss, in part passes underneath Miocene rocks. It is believed, however, 
that owing to pre-Miocene denudation, or perhaps because • Eocene rocks were never 
deposited over any large area in this direction, the possibility of bituminous coal-seams 
beneath the Miocene strata is small. The Miocene coal of the lower Mackley Valley 
and adjoining area, so far as contained in the Orikaka Survey District, is described 
towards the end of this chapter. 

For many years the Mackley Valley was reputed to contain a large field of 
bituminous coal, and the discovery of the slender foundation on which this reputation 
rested came as a shock to the writers. To some extent, the erroneous, or at least 
confusing, announcements made by Cox* and Dennistonf that the Blackburn coal 
occurred in the Orikaka (or Mackley) Valley may have formed the basis of these 
mistaken reports. The district undoubtedly contained a vast amount of coal in a 
bygone age, but through denudation the greater part has almost entirely disappeared. 
In the portion of the valley still containing the undenuded coal-horizon the indications 
of workable coal are scanty, but careful prospecting may perhaps lead to the discovery 
of a workable area. Such prospecting, however, should be preceded by some improve- 
ment in the means of access, and at the present time is hardly worth while, for under 
existing conditions the coal, even if found in larger quantity than seems probable, 
cannot be profitably worked, owing to the great difficulty and expense of constructing 
the necessary transport roads. 

(5.) Valleys of Granity, Mine, and Mangatini Creeks, or Millerton-Darlington- 
Mangatini ^rea .^Granity, Mine, and Mangatini creeks drain an important coal-bearing 
area now being mined by the Westport and Westport-Stockton companies. Most of the 
coal is at heights ranging from 1,000 ft. to 3,000 ft. or more, but a few outcrops occur 
at lower levels. One of these, on the south bank of the Ngakawau River just below 
Mine Creek junction, is practically at sea-level, and shows, or rather did show, friable 
crushed coal to the thickness of 16 ft. to 18 ft. This is underlain, so far as can be 
seen, by a thin layer of shale, succeeded by coarse sandstone and grit that strike 200°, 
dip at 50° to the south-westward, and rest on granite. The roof of the coal is a 
somewhat fine grit, followed by a considerable thickness of yellow sandstone, containing 
two or three shaly layers, with a strike of 180° and a westerly dip of 40°. (See 
fig. 8 and Denniston's No. 1 section, p. 141 of report.) Mudstone, containing sand- 
stone, grit, and pebble bands is exposed for some distance down the river-bank, 
with dip varying from 30° to 90°. The section is highly faulted, and is in fact 
involved in the Lower Buller or Kongahu fault -zone. Fig. 8 is a diagrammatic 
representation of the part near Mine Creek. The coal was worked in a small way 
many years ago by the Albion Coal Company, and later by the Westport-Ngakawau 
or Westport-Wallsend Coal Company. It lies between two faults, with parallel strikes, 

* " Report on Survey of Buller Coalfield." Rep. G.S., No. 9, 1877, pp. 116-17. 
t Op. cit., pp. 139, 168. 


and is a small isolated block, a somewhat fortunate circumstance, since the extension 
of the fire now consuming it is thus limited. On top of Crane Cliff, to the eastward 
of Mine Creek, thick but extremely friable coal outcrops, and there are several similar 
outcrops of sooty coal on the north side of the Ngakawau near and below the old 
sawmill tramway. These are not shown on the maps. Denniston's outcrops Nos. 2 
and 3 are on the east side of lower Mine Creek ; No. 6 is well up Steep Creek ; No. 5 
on top of Crane's Cliff ; No. 3| in lower Brown Creek ; and Nos. 7 and 8 between 
the heads of South and Brown creeks (see pages 141-42 of his report). 

From Crane Cliff far to the eastward is an extensive area on both sides of the 
Ngakawau River which is devoid of workable coal. In this barren district are included 
Rome Creek valley, the lower Mangatini Valle3^ Repo Creek valley, the pakihi north of 
the deep Ngakawau Gorge near trig, station AN, lower St. Patrick and St. Andrew 
valleys, &c. Again, southward towards Millerton there is little evidence of workable 
coal. East of Millerton is an area which has been bored with poor results. In Mine 
Creek, about two to two miles and a half from its mouth, Denniston reports 2 ft. to 
3 ft. of coal (sections 4 and 9, pages 141 and 142 of report). On a line drawn eastward 
from this point, coal approaching workabl-e thickness begins to live, and is seen in 
Sandy Creek south of Darlington (Denniston's section No. 13), and again in a gorgy 
part of Mangatini Creek a mile to the south-east (Denniston's section No. 14) at 1,190 ft. 
above sea-level. In the latter locality the outcrop may be seen for a quarter of a 
mile along the western wall of the gorge, so that a very fine and interesting section 
is exposed. The coal-seam is lensoid, thickening from a thin coaly band enclosed in 
shale to 4 ft., and then thinning to 16 in. or less. Lenses of shale, sandstone, and 
grit are enclosed in the seam (see Fig. 9a). The roof consists of a little shale and 
sandstone overlain by "■• orreat thickness of grit, and the floor of several feet of dark 
shale underlain by grit. These beds strike 266° and dip at 12° to the north. Some- 
what to the southward 15 in. of coal thinning to 12 in. is visible on the eastern side 
of the gorge and in AJ Creek. 

Less than a quarter of a mile up-stream 7 ft. to 8 ft. of hard coal appears on the 
eastern side of the gorge at 1,300 ft. above sea-level. The strike is 266° and the dip 
is at first 15° to the north, but southward flattens. A grit lens is visible in the 
seam (see Fig. 9c, which also illustrates a curious variation in the immediate roof from 
grit to shale, caused by current-bedding). Just to the south of the point where the 
outcrop, owing to the flattening of its dip and the rise of the stream-bed, disappears 
below water-level, is the Millerton fault, which has here a strong upthrow to the 
south. The upthrown coal is probably not very thick, for outcrops have not been 
observed for some distance southward. 

At a point almost a mile to the west, on the south side of the Millerton fault, 
2| ft. of coal is visible on the east side of Mine Creek near the Westport-Stockton 
electric tramway. On the other side of Mine Creek the same seam may also be 
observed, gradually increasing in thickness to 6ft., and, as Mine Creek township is 
approached, to 10 ft., 15 ft., and more (see Denniston's sections Nos. 15, 16, and 17). 
Thick coal extends from Mine Creek north-west towards Milleiton, and has been exten- 
sively worked by the Westport Coal Company. Soutliward from Mine Creek to 
Mangatini township tlie coal is uniformly thick, and on the south side of Mangatini 
Creek reaches the great thickness of 53 ft. or 54 ft. The numerous magnificent outcrops 
of clean almost ashless hard coal in this locality cannot fail to arouse enthusiasm 
in the spectator. Fig. 10 illu.strates one of the outcrops visible near Mangatini town- 
ship. So far as can be determined by outcrops, thick coal, belonging to wliat may now 
be called tlic Mangatini seam, extends from here to the summit of Mount Aiigustus 
(3,311 it.) The cover of the coal consists of from 50 ft. to 100 ft. of grit and sandstone. 


Good outcrops not far above basal granite appear on the steep seaward slope near 
Mount Augustus, and northward, towards Millerton, many fine outcrops may be seen in 
the upper watershed of Granity Creek and in the area immediately to the westward. 
At one point 30 ft., and at another probably close on 50 ft., of clean coal, unmarred 
by shale bands, may be seen. In several places there are two seams, separated 
by a few feet of shale and sandstone, but these may be regarded as splits from one 
main seam. On the whole the coal-outcrops make a splendid show, though in and 
near Granity Creek, at a locality about two miles south of Millerton, the coal is some- 
what thin, and in one place seems to be wholly replaced by dark carbonaceous shale, 
which there is reason for believing extends as a belt of some width to the south- 

In the gorge of Granity Creek, half a mile to a mile south of Millerton, are some 
very good outcrops. Again, less than half a mile south-east of that township, about 
20 ft. of coal is visible in Miller Creek (a branch of Granity) near the Westport 
Company's air-compressor plant. Other outcrops in or near Miller Creek watershed are 
shown by W. M. Cooper's maps (see also Denniston's sections 19, 20, and 21). 

If attention is again t-urned to the neighbourhood of Mangatini township, where the 
coal of the area under description attains its maximum thickness, it will be seen that 
the maps show various outcrops to the south-east in Ford Creek valley, and eastward 
for some distance down Mangatini Creek valley, or rather gorge. East of the Westport 
Company's boundary the Mangatini seam, here from 8 ft. to 16 ft. thick, has been 
worked by the Westport-Stockton Company from its B, C, and D tunnels. In these 
workings much of the coal, though otherwise of good quality, is friable. Figs. 11a 
and 11b show two sections near D tunnel. Not far to the east of B tunnel, however, 
workable coal ceases to exist, owing to the thinning of the seam, and the same thing 
happens 20 chains or so b.elow the bridge over Mangatini Creek between B and C 
tunnels. Possibly thin coal lives down the stream on the west side as far as the 
Millerton fault, beyond which, it will be remembered, a 7 ft. to 8 ft. seam outcrops 
in the Mangatini Creek gorge. The area east of the Mangatini appears to be denuded, 
but may in reality have been originally devoid of coal. 

East of C and D tunnels the coal thins considerably, and, moreover, reaches 
the surface, so that the seam can be traced no further in this direction. It lives, 
however, beyond the southern boundary of the Mangatini watershed, and presently, in 
describing the next area, some highly interesting data concerning it will be given. 

Various outcrops of the Mangatini seam which have not been specifically mentioned 
are indicated on the maps published with this bulletin, and others, shown on Cooper's 
maps, are described by Denniston. 

In general the floor of the Mangatini seam consists of a thin layer of shale, under- 
lain by coarse sandstone and grit, the latter rock in places passing into conglomerate. 
As a rule, the basal granite or gneiss is not far below the coal, but east of the 
Westport-Stockton Company's C and D tunnels the interval is considerable. Coincident- 
ally the coal thins. The bed immediately overlying the coal is in places shale, but 
generally consists of hard sandstone or fine grit, and therefore forms a safe roof for 
the miner. These latter rocks (sandstone and grit) with minor bands of shale, extend 
to the surface, the soft Kaiata mudstone, which once overlay them, having been 
entirely removed by denudation. The cover of the coal is therefore usually from 
50 ft. to 100 ft. thick, and the surface slopes approximately correspond to the bedding, 
thus indicating the attitude and depth of the underlying coal. 

The Millerton-Mangatini area of workable coal is traversed by only one fault of 
any magnitude, the Mangatini.* The Millerton fault, somewhat curiously, roughly 
indicates for some distance the line dividing this area from the almost barren district 

*For descriptions of this and the Millerton fault see Chap. IV. 


that extends northward as far as Charming Creek, and to the eastward has a still 
greater extension. In striking contrast the country south of the Millerton fault 
abounds, as has been shown, in thick coal of good quality. Inspection of the outcrops 
and the mine-workings conveys the impression that here is an immense supply of 
fuel, though one may also observe that the coal has been denuded from stream-valleys, 
that in one or two localities it is thin and inclined to pass into shale, and that in 
various places, though of high calorific value, it has the defect of friability. The 
great thickness of the coal over much of the area very seriously decreases the proportion 
that can be won, for no method of total extraction is practicable. Again, a consider- 
able block north of Mine Creek township has been sealed off owing to fire, and thus 
some coal has been destroyed, whilst a considerable amount is at least temporarily lost. 

(6.) Fly Creek, Plover Greek, and Upper St. Patrick or " South Branch " Area. — 
The coal-bearing area drained by the upper part of the St. Patrick Stream (commonly 
called the " South Branch of the Ngakawau ") and its branches, T 35, T 31, Fly, and 
Plover creeks, lies immediately south of the Mangatini district, with Mount Augustus 
at its north-west corner and trig, station AH near its north-east corner. In shape it 
is an irregular trapezium, measuring from east to west about two miles and a half, 
south of Mount Augustus one mile and a half, and south of AH somewhat over three 
miles. On the east it is bounded by the Mount William fault and the gneissic slopes 
of Mount Stockton, on the west by the water-parting trending north from Mount 
Frederick, and on the south by the Upper Waimangaroa area. From the western 
water-parting, with a maximum height of 3,380 ft. or 3,400 ft. the area slopes with 
rough uniformity to the east^vard, the lowest ground in this direction being somewhat 
over 1,800 ft. above sea-level. The surface is everywhere formed by hard grit or 
sandstone, in which the consequent streams have cut gorges of varying depth. 

A highly important group of coal-outcrops occurs in the eastern part of the 
St. Patrick area, a little to the north of T 31 Creek. The steep sides of a low flat- 
topped hillock in this locality, at an approximate height of 1,900 ft. above sea-level, 
show a 25 ft. outcrop, oval in plan, of somewhat tender but clean coal. This may be 
regarded as belonging to the Matipo seam, so named from an outcrop in Fly 
Creek, which will presently be described. The coal floor consists of a little shale, below 
which is a few feet of coarse sandstone and grit, resting on the basal gneissic rock. 
The roof is 6 in. of fine grit, succeeded by 6 ft. of coarse grit, above which is 6 ft. of 
somewhat finer-grained grit. These beds strike 278°, and dip at 6° to the north. 

A few chains to the north-west, at the base of a low cliff broken by several 
gullies, the same thick seam shows two strong outcrops, horse-shoe-shaped in plan, 
owing to their curving around the spurs. The roof is everywhere coarse grit, from 
2 ft. to 5 ft. thick, followed by somewhat finer-grained rocks. On the curving sides 
of the horse-shoes the coal splits in a most interesting way. A shale parting that 
appears in the coal 2-| ft. from the roof rapidly thickens to the west, and as it does so 
in part passes into sandstone, which again passes into current-bedded grit. In the little 
gully due west of the coal island the distance between the two splits increases very 
rapidly, the upper seam rising to the westward, whilst the roof of the lower seam 
actually shows a downward tendency (see Fig. 12b). Four chains to the south-west, 
across the gully, the upper seam has a strike of 158°, and a dip of 20° to the north of 
east. The coal is here over 3 ft. thick, with a roof consisting of 10 in. coarse grit, 
5 in. sandstone, and 10 ft. grit with sandstone bands. The floor consists of shale 
(thickness not noted) underlain by sandstone and grit, of which a considerable thickness 
is seen. 

In the next little gully 3 or 4 chains to the north the following section is seen : ' 
8 ft. grit, underlain by 6 in. sandstone passing into grit right and left ; 2 ff. coarse grit ; 


2^ ft. or more of coal ; 1 ft. sandstone, thickening to the south-westward ; 12 ft. coal 
(floor not seen). About 15 yards to the south-west the roof of the main seam makes 
a sudden dip (perhaps due to a " washout "), but the bedding of the sandstone above 
the coal remains parallel to its former direction (see Fig. 12a). 

On the south side of a third gully, a few chains to the northward, a remarkable 
section showing the split is visible. To the east 12 ft. of clean, hard coal with grit roof 
(floor not seen) is exposed for a distance of 2 chains or more. A rusty band in the 
seam 2| ft. from the roof represents the first trace of a split. For a distance of 
14 yards to the westward the coal is obscured by debris, and then the following 
section is seen : 10 ft. grit, underlain by nearly 3 ft. of coal, 5 ft. shale and sandstone 
thickening westward, 7 ft. coal with floor not visible (see Fig. 12d). Less than a 
chain farther to the west the section becomes : 6 ft. grit ; 3 ft. coal ; 6 in. shale ; 6 ft. 
slialy sandstone ; 3 ft. sandstone, thickening very rapidly to the west, and passing into 
coarse current-bedded sandstone; 6ft. coal with floor not seen (see Fig. 12c). 

The 3 ft. upper split, owing to denudation, cannot be traced far to the westward, 
but to the south-west occasional outcrops representing remnants of the seam are 
fairly common. The seam thickens somewhat in this direction, and near the Westport- 
Stockton No. 1 bore shows 5 ft. of fair coal. From this point it may be traced by 
almost continuous outcrops far up Fly Creek. The thickness increases to 6 ft. or more 
three-quarters of a mile west of the bore, whilst at a mile, beyond a considerable 
fault, thick coal undoubtedly in the same horizon, and known to belong to the 
Mangatini seam, is found. Thus it becomes certain that this great seam originates 
as a split from the upper part of the thick seam outcropping near T 35 Creek. The 
following sections observed between T 31 Creek and the upper part of Fly Creek 
illustrate the changes in the nature of the seam and the enclosing strata : — 





— sandstone 



6 ft. grit. 

6 ft. sandstone. 

6 ft. grit. 

H ft. sandstone. 

6 ft. grit. 

2 ft. sandstone. 

' 6 ft. grit. 

2i ft. coal ^ 

|3 in. dirty coal. 

11 in. shale. - 

5 ft. coal. 

5 ft. coal. 


2 ft. coal. 1 

(e ft. good coal. 

6 in. shale. 

2 ft. shale. 

— shale. 

9 ft. shale. 

— sandstone. 

Small blank. 
— grit. 

— grit. 

, Blank. 
70 ft. or more of grit. 



(1 and 2.) South-east from Westport-Stockton No. 5 bore. 
(3.) Near Westport-Stockton No. 1 bore. 

(4.) Sixty chains west of No. 1 bore, near upper gorge of Fly Creek. -Coal 2,450 ft. 
above sea-level. 

The following is a somewhat composite section obtained by comparison of the 
outcrops close to Fly Creek southward from the Westport-Stockton D tunnel workings : 
Alternating grit and sandstone, varying in thickness, according to erosion of surface ; 
10 ft. grit ; 2J ft. coal increasing westward to 3 ft., decreasing eastward to 2 ft. or 
less ; 5 ft. shaly sandstone, increasing westward to 6 ft., decreasing eastward to 4 ft. ; 
15 ft. coal, clean and hard ; 12 ft. shale ; 30 ft. coarse grit. Height of coal above 
sea-level, 2,620 ft. ; dip at moderate angles to east or east-north-east. Fig. 13 illustrates 
this section. 


South from upper Fly Creek and Mount Augustus the Mangatini seam shows many 
outcrops, but, owing to denudation, tlie total area carrying coal is not so large as 
could be wished. Moreover, in places shale replaces the coal to a considerable extent, 
this being apparent in a nearly denuded area about three-quarters of a mile south- 
east of Mount Augustus. Especially fine outcrops of coal (6 ft. to 25 ft. thick, 
according to Denniston) appear in the headwaters of Plover Creek whence, however, the 
distance to the steep slope west of the watershed is small, and therefore the workable 
belt of coal is narrow. Eastward of this belt the Mangatini seam has been almost 
wholly removed by denudation. The only outcrop observed that may belong to it is 
not quite three-quarters of a mile east-south-east of trig, station L 41, and half a mile 
south of Plover Creek. Here, on the north side of a small branch of St. Patrick 
Stream, 3 ft. of coal with a roof of yellow grit and a" shaio floor outcrops. It would 
be interesting to identify this outcrop with the Mangatini seam, for this would indicate 
a thinning of the seam, and a probable ultimate junction with the lower or Matipo 
seam, corresponding in both respects with the observations made farther to the north. 

The reader's attention may now be turned to the lower or Matipo seam, from 
which the Mangatini has split. This may be traced northward by its outcrops to a 
point half a mile south-east of trig. AH. Here, in a small hill near T35 Creek, the 
following section may be seen at a height of 1,940 ft. to 2,000 ft. : 7 ft. grit and 
coarse sandstone ; 20 ft. fine shaly sandstone ; 30 ft. grit and sandstone in alternating 
layers, the former predominating ; 7 ft. good coal with a shale floor. About 30 yards 
to the eastward the seam has thickened to over 12 ft., but contains a shale band. 
The floor is shale for several feet, below which there seems to be more coal. The 
strata of the hill strike '274°, and dip at 10° to the north. Beyond this point the 
lower seam cannot be traced, and probably to the northward it thins. Without 
much doubt it once extended eastward over the present slopes of Mount Stockton, 
but from this quarter it has been entirely removed by denudation. 

The Matipo seam may be traced southward from T31 Creek with more or less 
certainty for several miles. Not quite half a mile south-south-west of the coal 
hillock snowing 25 ft. of coal an outcrop at least 16 ft. thick (2,020 ft. above sea-level) 
is exposed on a cliff face a few chains west of St. Patrick Stream. The roof consists 
of many feet of fine to moderately coarse grit. The floor is not seen owing to the 
debris piled at the foot of the clifi:, but not more than 40 ft. below is the basal gneiss 
on which the coal-measures of this locality rest. The coal strikes 329°, and dips at 
12° to the north. This dip, however, like many others recorded on the coalfield, is 
but local. Coal ought to outcrop in the gorge of St. Patrick Creek, a few chains 
above Fly Creek junction, but owing to the gorge being partly filled with huge blocks 
of grit and sandstone no outcrop is visible. The abundance of coal pebbles, many of 
them angular, in the stream-bed below this point proves that a seam, probably thick, 
does exist in the situation indicated. Goal ought also to appear near the junction of 
Fly and Plover creeks, but was not seen, though 25 ft. of coal (thickness probably 
exaggerated), known as Bi'oome's outcrop, is reported to be visible on the south side 
of Plover Creek just above its junction with Fly Creek. A fault here present probahh- 
prevents coal from outcropping just where it might be expected, but 8 chains u]) Fh- 
Creek coal, known as the Matipo outcrop, does appear at water-level on the north side 
of the stream. This shows between 9 ft. and 10 ft. of good hard coal, besides what- 
ever may be below stream-level. The roof consists of grit, extending to the top of 
the cliffs bounding the gorge. The strike is irregular and the dip small. If the effect 
of faults bejneglected, the average dip of the coal from the^ Matipo outcrop (2,070 ft. 
above sea-level) to the 16 ft. outcrop a quarter of a mile to the north-east, is under 4°. 


No outcrops of the Matipo seam are visible in Fly Creek to the westward of that 
just described, though in this direction the gorges and bed of the creek show a 
continuous section of the overlying grit amd sandstone for nearly two miles. At a 
point not quite a mile and a quarter from the Matipo outcrop a strong fault with 
upthrow to the west crosses the stream. In consequence the basal conglomerate of 
the coal-measures is exposed, but in vain was search made for evidence of the Matipo 
seam in the beds overlying the conglomerate. A little dark shale was observed inter- 
bedded with the conglomerate and some distance to the west a thin bed of coal occurs 
30 ft. below the Mangatini seam, but it is not likely that this represents the Matipo 
seam, which, according to the available evidence, should be over 100 ft. below the 
Mangatini. The conclusion reached then is that the Matipo seam completely thins out 
to the westward in the Fly Cre,ek watershed. This belief is quite in accordance with 
the experience gained in other parts of the field regarding the lenticularity of the coal- 
seams, and is signally confirmed by the results of drilling in the area east and south 
of the C and D tunnel workings of the Westport-Stockton Company. Of the thirteen 
bores marked on the maps, all but the two marked " Old bore " were drilled by the 
company just named. So far as is known to the writers, the two old bores, 172 ft. 
and 220 ft. deep, either found no coal or only a very thin seam ; bores B, C, 2, and 3 
were similarly unsuccessful ; and the bore D, 254 ft. deep, close to D tunnel, having 
found no coal worth mention below the Mangatini seam, reached gneiss. On the other 
hand, bore A, south-east of B, passed through 3 ft. of coal ; bore No. 7 (marked 6e 
on a map issued by the Westport-Stockton Company), approximately 33 or 34 chains 
south-south-east of A, at a depth of 101ft., entered 18ft. of coal; a bore (7e on the 
map just mentioned) 23 chains south-by-west from No. 7 (or 6e) proved 10 ft. to 
lOj ft. of coal at a depth of 104 ft. ; No. 1 bore, on the north bank of Fly Creek, 
28 chains west of the Matipo outcrop, penetrated 7^ ft. coal at a depth of 137 ft., and 
bore No. 6 (If on the Westport-Stockton Company's map) on the north bank of 
Plover Creek, 27 chains south of No 1, penetrated 7|- ft. to 8 ft. of coal at a depth 
of 107 ft. Concerning the bore marked No. 5, which was drilled close to T 31 Creek, 
about 31 chains east of No. 3 bore, nothing has been learned. A bore (4e) 26 chains 
north-north-west of No. 1, and 32 chains west-south-west of No. 7e, and therefore 
about 22 chains south of No. 5 bore, found 5 ft. of coal at a depth of 117 ft. Some 
of these bores give important data concerning the thickness of the beds separating the 
Matipo seam from its split the Mangatini seam. At No. 7 or 6e bore, approximately 
25 chains west-north-west of a point where the split is observed to begin, this thickness 
is 101 ft., to which must be added a few feet more, the Mangatini seam being 
here denuded. At No. 7e bore, about 30 chains west of an observed splitting-point 
it may be estimated at 110 ft. At bore No. 4e the discrepancy is 125 ft. or 130 ft. and 
at bore No. 1, which is somewhat over three-quarters of a mile from the nearest 
observed point of splitting, the distance between the seams is approximately 145 ft. 
(from roof to roof). 

Bast of St. Patrick Stream, at a mile to a mile, and a half above the Fly Creek 
junction, outcrops of coal may be seen practically on the line of the Mount William 
fault and more or less involved in it. On the east bank of the stream, near the 
point where, coming from the west, it bends to a general north-by-east direction, 
5 ft. of coal (2,280 ft. above sea-level) is exposed, with floor not seen. Appearances 
in a little rill close by indicate 8 ft. of coal (perhaps more). The roof consists of 1 ft. 
of shale, overlain by sandstone, of which 12 ft. is seen. The strike is 188° and the 
dip 8° or 10° to the west, this reversal of the direction of dip from that prevailing to 
the west being due to the drag of the Mount William fault, which is only a chain 
or two away. As observed by Denniston the section (No. 63, page 148 of report) in 
this locality is somewhat different. 


A few chains south-west of the last-named outcrop coal (height 2,300 ft.) shows for 
some yards in the bed of St. Patrick Stream. ' Greywacke and granite are exposed a 
chain or two away and therefore the coal must be very near the base of the coal- 
measures. Eighteen chains to the south-south-west 3 ft. of coal with sandstone roof 
dipping east-south-east is visible at a point practically on the flat water-parting between 
St. Patrick Stream and Cypress Creek, the latter a tributary of the Waimangaroa. 
Hence coal of similar thickness continues southward. To the west the coal is com- 
pletely removed by denudation, but eastward it lives for 10 or 11 chains to the 
Mount William fault, beyond which is the almost entirely coal-denuded area of the 
William Range. 

The data obtained in the course of the geological survey show that over a very 
considerable area the Matipo seam is of good quality and thickness. This area has a 
probable length of nearly three miles from a point half a mile or less south of trig, 
station AH to the point where St. Patrick Stream assumes a north-by-east course. 
The seam thins to the westward, whilst to the east of the outcrops described there is 
hardly any workable coal, owing to denudation. Only by boring or other form of 
underground prospecting can the width of the workable strip be determined. It may 
perhaps be assumed as approximating half a mile. If the average thickness of the 
coal be taken as 7|- ft., then 10,800,000 tons of coal, of which half may be extractable, 
is present. Probably, however, under prevailing conditions not more than one-third of 
this can be won at a profit, and therefore the estimate of coal that can be obtained 
from the area must be reduced to 3,600,000 tons. For the table on page 184, the 
coal has been calculated on a slightly different basis, but the result is not materially 

Cox and Denniston failed to distinguish the Matipo seam from its split the Manga- 
tini seam, and, taking outcrops of the latter for the former, mapped as barren the 
greater part of the area (roughly 1,000 acres) now known to contain the Matipo 
seam. The writers are unable to say to whom full credit is due for the discovery 
of the coal-bearing nature of the supposed barren ground, but certainly Mr. G. H. 
Broome, formerly General Manager of the Westport - Stockton Company, must be 
mentioned in this connection. 

(7.) Upper Waimangaroa Area. — The upper Waimangaroa area may be defined as 
bounded on the north by the water-parting between the Waimangaroa River and 
St. Patrick Stream, on the south-east by the Mount William fault, on the north-west 
by the water-parting overlooking the ocean, and on the west by a line drawn almost 
due south from the head of Britannia Creek to the Mount William fault. The surface 
has a general slope from the north-west to the south-east, the highest point (Mount 
Frederick) being 3,621 ft., and the lowest approximately 1,550 ft. above sea-level. 

Near the headwaters of Whirlwind Creek, the most northern branch of the 
Waimangaroa, are some outcrops of the Mangatini seam at an elevation of 2,910 ft. 
Southward from this locality the possible coal-bearing belt is narrow, and, in fact, 
outcrops were not observed either by the writers or by Denniston and Cooper. 
Forming the summit of Mount Frederick, however, is an outlier of the coal-measures 
with an area of 153 acres, which is surrounded by greywacke and granite. Workable 
coal from 5 ft. or 6 ft. to possibly 20 ft. or more in thickness (Denniston, sections 68-73, 
pages 148-49 of report) outcrops close to the boundary, and extends over an area of 
140 acres. The roof is usually shale from 2 ft. to 4 ft. thick, above whicli is sandstone 
and grit. The floor is shale or dark sandstone, not far below which comes greywacke 
or granite. In several places these rocks are almost in contact with the coal, and 
in consequence rotten and bleached through the extraction of iron and other constituents 

H— BuUer-Mokihinui. 


(see page 70). The coal of the Mount Frederick outlier apparently belongs to the 
Mangatini seam, but positive identification is not possible on the field-evidence alone. 

Along the southern edge of the upper part of Deep Creek valley are a few 
outcrops of coal from 6 ft. to 9 ft. thick. To the southward again is an area 
containing numerous outcrops of clean coal from 5 ft. to 15 ft. or more in thickness. 
In places two, or even three, seams, separated by a few feet of shale and sandstone, 
are present ; but the coal shows a tendency to pass into shale, and may be very 
patchy. West of the head of Billo Creek, a branch of Deep Creek, is the area formerly 
worked by the Koranui Company, where the coal as seen is from 6 ft. to 8 ft. thick. 
In the lower part of Deep Creek watershed the coal is now being actively extracted 
by the Westport Coal Company. 

In various parts of the Deep Creek watershed the coal, as mentioned above, is to 
some extent replaced by shale, and since also the main seam gives off splits, exact 
identification of the most important coal-horizon becomes very difficult. For the same 
reasons any estimate of the quantity of coal will be unreliable, and only by boring and 
mining operations will correct data be obtained. The coal is very patchy, mainly 
owing to erosion ; but the locality contains less barren ground than is shown by 
Cooper and Denniston's mapping. 

The main coal-seam in Deep Creek watershed must presumably be correlated with 
the Mount Frederick coal, supposed to represent the Mangatini seam. The identification, 
however, is so very doubtful that it cannot well be regarded as more than a possibility. 
If this view be correct, it follows that the coal mined at Burnett's Face, Coalbrookdale, 
&c., belongs to the MangaAini seam. Probably the most reasonable view to adopt is 
that expressed on an earlier page — namely, that all the workable coal-seams are or were 
originally connected by splits, and that consequently there is only one main seam in the 
Westport district. 

East of Deep Creek is an area (Kiwi Ridge) that shows only a few surface patches 
of coal, none of any importance, and is apparently barren. Boring, however, is 
necessary to determine whether or not deeper coal (corresponding to the Matipo seam) 
exists in this locality. 

The reader's attention now has to be drawn to the belt of country lying imme- 
diately west of the Mount William fault, and traversed throughout by the Waimangaroa 
River. On a previous page is mentioned the 3 ft. seam outcropping in the watershed of 
Cypress Creek (Happy Valley), and regarded as representing the Matipo seam. In 
the bed of the Waimangaroa River a few chains above Cypress Creek junction coal 2-| ft. 
to 3 ft. thick, with a shaly roof, is exposed. The floor is also shale of some thickness, 
probably resting on grit, which is seen a short distance up-stream. The coal strikes 
251°, and dips at 12° to the south-south-east. The same seam again outcrops 
12 chains to the south-west, close to a nearly east-and-west fault shown on the 

At this point it is desirable to mention that correlation of any coal-outcrops to 
the southward of the fault mentioned above with the Matipo seam cannot be made. 
These outcrops may, in fact, equally well be correlated with the Mangatini seam, and 
this is hardlj' strange, for, as has been shown, the one seam is a split from the 
other. The tentative correlations here made are desirable rather as a means of giving 
a connected account of the coal occurrences than as an aid to actual mining, for, 
owing to the lenticularity of the workable seams, their frequent splits, and other 
factors, such as faulting, certainty regarding the presence or absence of coal in doubtful 
areas, as a rule, cannot be attained by identif3nng the coal-horizon, but only by actual 



Denniston, 1877 Report. 




Soft yellow sandstone 



Coal .. 










Soft yellow sandstone, with blaze 




Band of blaze 

(?) 6 



Soft yellow sandstone, with shale . 









The first outcrop of coal seen south of Happy Valley is at an elevation of 2,180 ft. 

near a right-angled bend of the Waimangaroa. Here 6 ft. of coal (no floor seen), 

with a dip of 12° to the south-south-east, is exposed. Somewhat over a quarter of a 

mile to the south-east a fine section is visible at a height of 1 ,920 ft. on the east bank 

of the Waimangaroa just below Webb Creek junction. Denniston's section (No. 75, 

page 150 of his report) is given for comparison with that observed by one of the 

writers : — 

N.Z.G.S., 1912. 

Yellow sandstone 

Coal .. 

Sandstone . . . . 

Coal .. 

Yellow sandstone . . 

Shale and coaly matter 

Yellow sandstone, passing downward 
into shaly sandstone 

Coal (floor not seen) 

Blank, about 

Shale and shaly sandstone. I 

Coarse sandstone and grit (a con- 
siderable thickness). j 

Strike about 244°. Dip 15° to south-south- i Dip south to south-east. Besting upon hard 
east. { grit. 

The coal is hard and perfectly free from shale-bands or other visible impurities. 
It is also observable on the west bank of the Waimangaroa, and may be traced some 
distance up Webb Creek by occasional outcrops, but in this direction almost certainly 
thins. The first outcrop seen shows 6 ft. or 7 ft. of good clean coal, with 6 ft. of 
shale roof overlain by sandstone. The floor, almost hidden by water, seems to be 
shale. The poor and unsatisfactory outcrops higher up the stream do not indicate 
thick coal. 

Fifty chains to the south-west of Webb Creek is L 75 Creek, which shows some 
good outcrops of coal at 8 to 16 chains above its junction with the Waimangaroa. 
These afford the following composite section : Sandstone and grit, underlain by 6 ft. 
shale, 7-| ft. clean coal, and 2| ft. of shale, resting on coarse sandstone.f The strike 
is 336°, and the dip 8° to 10° to the north-east. The strata, however, are interrupted 
hereabouts by two or three faults, • which strike west of north. West of these, and 
on the south side of L 75 Creek, are several outcrops of coal at a height of about 
2,250 ft. These strike slightly west of north, and dip at 10° to the east, and may 
or may not represent the seam seen farther to the east. Westward is an apparently 
denuded area, but Denniston shows coal in this direction as far as the base of the 
Kiwi fault-scarp, and in any case boring is probably desirable in order to prove one 
conclusion or the other. 

Not far below the mouth of L 75 Creek very thick but friable coal outcrops on 
the west bank of the Waimangaroa. Something like 30 ft. (according to Denniston's 
section No. 77, 32 ft.) of coal may be seen. The roof appears to be shale, over 
which may bo a considerable thickness of grit and sandstone, but a fault complicates 
the section, and is probably the cause of the coal being so tliick. About 1.} chains 
up-stream 8 ft. or 9 ft. of coal lying under a shaly roof is e.\])osed on the west bank, 
and is doubtless the same seam as that seen below. 

* Probably this should be 6 in. 

t Denniston gives a fuller section (No. 7(5, p. 1.50 of report), in which tlu- thickness of coal seen is stated 
to be 12 ft. 

11*— Buller-Mokihinui. 


About 18 chains south of the last-mentioned outcrops 3^ ft. of fairly good coal, 
resting on conglomerate, is visible on the left bank of the Waimangaroa. The roof 
is shale and shaly sandstone passing into ordinary sandstone, of which 40 ft. is 
exposed. The last-named stratum contains a 5 in. coal-seam, and is overlain by marine 
mudstone (Kaiata beds). The strike of the larger coal-seam is 251°, and its dip 12° to 
the east of south ; but to the westward the strike changes more to the north, and 
the dip veers to the eastward. Two small faults with strike of about 166° appear 
in the section. To the east nothing outcrops for 2 chains, and then Kaiata mudstone 
appears. According to Denniston a section (No. 78 of his report) that contains 
30 ft. of coal occurs at or close to this locality. In 1912 search was made by the 
Geological Survey party, but no such outcrop was found. 

Clean and workable but somewhat friable coal outcrops near the western bank of 
the Waimangaroa almost opposite Wilson Saddle. The exact thickness of the seam is 
not determinable without somewhat deep trenching. 

Thirty chains or so to the south, and close to the point where the boundary- 
line between the Westport Coal Company's ground and what is known as " Cook's 
(or Westenra's) Lease " crosses the Waimangaroa, broken coal is visible on the western 
bank of the river. Immediately to the southward the following section appears on 
the east bank : 30 ft. yellow sandstone with a thin coal-seam and shaly layers, 30 ft. 
coarse gritty sandstone, 6 ft. soft yellow sandstone, 30 ft. coarse sandstone, 6 ft. 
varying sandstone, 11 ft. good coal (floor below water-level, and not seen). The section 
is Denniston's No. 80, which gives the thickness of coal as 20 ft.* Up-stream a 
band of shale appears near the middle of the visible coal. This thickens, and 
coincidentally the roof of the coal droops. There is here something more than a 
suggestion of what is commonly called by miners a " roll " (see page 180). For a 
chain or so the coal is invisible, and then an outcrop of hard coal with a shale roof 
makes its appearance. Fig. 14 is an attempt to illustrate the whole section. On the 
open ground, south of the 11 ft. coal-outcrop, a small upper seam from 1 ft. to 2 ft. 
thick, dipping at 12° to 20° to the south of east is seen in several places. It is 
apparently of no importance. 

Immediately east of the point where the Aorere rocks that outcrop at intervals 
for over half a mile down-stream from the section just described are last seen, 8 ft. 
of coal (floor below water-level and not seen) appears on the west bank of the Wai- 
mangaroa. The high cliff- face above is formed of grit and sandstone, containing a 
thin coal-seam near the top. On the east side of the river, some chains to the north 
and about 70 ft. above the bed, 2 ft. of coal (floor not seen), with a roof showing 
5 in. of sandstone overlain by grit, is exposed. The seam may be of workable thick- 
ness, and is doubtless the same as the 8 ft. coal below. It strikes 291°, and dips 
at 11° to the west of south. 

The coal outcropping near the Kiwi Compressor and now being worked by the 
Westport Coal Company is of moderate thickness only. Down-stream the seam increases 
greatly in size, and is accompanied by other seams, which are probably splits. Owing 
to dense fog at the time of an inspection by one of the writers no sections were 
obtained. Denniston's sections, Nos. 96, 97, and 98 (page 154 of his report) refer to this 
locality, but do not give full information concerning the coal-seams, possibly because 
talus from the cliffs hides or partly hides some of the outcrops.| 

* On Cooper's map two coal-outcrops numbered 80 are shown. The more southerly is in the position of 
the section described : the other is probably Denniston's section No. 79. 

•f In a hand-coloured map in the Geological Survey Office (probably Denniston's work) section No. 98 
is shown as near where the Kiwi air-compressor and other plant now (1913) stand. Its proper position must 
be some distance down-stream. 


At the junction of Hut Creek with the Waimangaroa, opposite Deep Creek, very 
thick coal is exposed, though Denniston's estimate of 40 ft. (section No. 95) at this 
point (Denniston Falls) is probably over the mark. 

As a whole the upper Waimangaroa area holds a considerable amount of coal, the 
greater part of which is contained in the strip, fairly wide to the south, that adjoins 
the Mount William fault. In the watershed of Deep Creek, and on the higher slopes 
of Mount Frederick, the coal is apparently in patches, separated by areas of erosion, 
or in some cases by ground in which the coal has thinned or been replaced by 

Adjoining the Kiwi fault is a debatable area in which appearances on the whole 
suggest that the thick coal seen in the neighbourhood of Waimangaroa River both thins 
and reaches the surface, but it is possible that the small coal-seam outcropping east of 
the fault is either quite separate or a split from the main body. Before sound con- 
clusions can be reached bores on both sides of the Kiwi fault are necessary. The 
matter is of great importance in connection with the area of approximately 1,200 acres 
commonly known as Cook's lease, and to a less extent in connection with the Westport 
Coal Company's ground. Some positive evidence favouring the existence of a lower 
workable seam is found south of the head of L 75 Creek, where in a deep gully draining 
to Deep Creek a body of coal over 4 ft. thick with shale roof and floor outcrops 
beneath fully 150 ft. of grit. To the east, however, and perhaps also to the west, the 
coal thins. Whether it thickens to the south remains to be seen. 

(8.)- Denniston-Cascade Greek Area. — The Denniston-Cascade Creek area forms the 
central eastern part of Kawatiri Survey District. It may be regarded as bounded on 
the north by the Waimangaroa gorge, on the east by the Ngakawau Survey District 
and the Mount William fault, on the south mainly by the clifE-faces overlooking Cascade 
Creek valley, and on the west by a line drawn from Denniston to where Trent Creek 
enters the Whareatea, and thence continued southward to the boundary of the coal- 
measure rocks. With the exception of Cascade Creek valley and the gorges of the 
various streams, this area has a gently rolling surface, portions of which are almost 
flat. Hence the local name of Denniston or Coalbrookdale Plateau for the district, as 
mentioned in Chapter II (page 31). As elsewhere in the uplands, the prevailing rocks 
are grit and sandstone poorly hidden by thin peaty soil supporting a scanty vegetation. 
The- northern and eastern parts of the area atone for the poverty of their surface by 
their richness in coal of the finest quality, but the <fentral and western portions are 
barren in every way. 

Immediately east-south-east of Denniston township several small coal-seams outcrop 
in the cliff-faces overlooking the Waimangaroa Gorge. The largest of these, probably not 
more than 4 ft. thick where first seen, increases in size to the eastward, and was worked 
many years ago by the owners of the Fisher or Banbury Mine (Westport Colliery Com- 
pany — later the Westport Coal Company). South-westward the coal apparently thins 
out, probably against the old surface of the Aorere rocks (" slates "). Near Burnett's 
Face, on both sides of Burnett Creek to its mouth, and thence in tlie gorge of the 
Waimangaroa eastward to Deep Creek, many fine outcrops of thick, hard, and clean 
coal may be seen. In one part of the cliff-face three bands of coal, whicii may bo 
regarded as splits from the one main seam, are visible.* 

In a report made in 1863 James Burnettf gives an account of the ('oal-outcrops 
in or near the upper part of the Waimangaroa gorge. The two following sections. 

* See No. 1 of Buniott's sections, ((noted on tho next page. 

t " Report on Part of the Grey (Joalfield North of the BuUer Kivor " : XeUoii. 0<izet(e, vol. xj, No. 8. 
20th Ai)ril, 18G3. 







. . 49 

Grit and sandstone 


. . 32 

Soft fine-grained sandston 


. . 27 

Hard white sandstone 


. . 34 



. . 22 

Hard white red sandstone 




. . 19 



.. 9 

Coal .. 



. . 12 



. . 42 

Coal .. 



.. 5 


Shale and coal . . 


.. 5 


. 5 


. . 20 

Shale .. 


Shale .. 







although they cannot be exactly located without the aid of Burnett's unpublished map, 
are worth quotation : — 
Grit and sandstone 
Sandstone and shale 

Grit, sandstone and shale 
Coal and shale 
Coal and shale 

Yellow sandstone 
Slaty rock 

Fine-grained grey sandstone 

No. 1 section, which was observed by Burnett " from a distance,'" is probably 
near the junction of Burnett Creek with the Waimangaroa. To the south " these beds 
join and form one large soam," giving section No. 2, at 1,692 ft. above sea-level. 

Near Burnett's Face, on the road to Kiwi Compressor, good sections of the grits 
and sandstones overlaying the coal ma}'' be seen. Close to the bridge that gives a name 
to the Ironbridge Mine the section seen is : 2-5 ft. of grit, underlain by 8 ft. sandstone 
and shale, 2 ft. coal, 4 ft. or more of shaly rock, 1-| ft. fine sandstone merging into 
shale, many feet of coal (see Fig. 15a). 

A few chains to the south-east the main coal-seam completely thins out against a 
pre-Tertiary surface of bleached argillite. The section is : 36 ft. grit, sandstone, and 
shale; 6 in. coal; 3 ft. shale; 12 ft. sandstone; 2 ft. grit, thinning out on left; 
3 ft. shale ; 3 ft. sandstone ; 6 ft. grit ; 3 ft. coal, thicker on left, thinning completely 
out on right ; 1 J ft. shale, thinning out to 2 in. or 3 in. on right ; 20 ft. argillite. 
The coal-measures strike 320°, and dip 10° to 20° to the north-east. The Palaeozoic 
argillite has nearly the same strike, and a dip, only slightly steeper, in the same direc- 
tion : thus there is almost an appearance of conformity for a few yards (see 'Fig. 15b). 

The road-cuttings to the eastward show some fine examples of current bedding 
in the sandstones and grits overlying the coal (see Figs. 16a and 16b). In various 
places a small upper seam of coal 5 in. or 6 in. thick is exposed, but the lower seam 
is everywhere under cover. 

From Burnett's Face to Coalbrookdale coal outcrops almost continuously on the 
east side of Burnett Creek. The coal in one or two places is interbanded with shale, 
and inclines to be thin, among the observed thicknesses being 2| ft., 6 ft., and 5 ft. 
(see also Denniston's sections 109, 110, 118, 111, and 113). At Coalbrookdale itself 
the observed thickness is from 5|- ft. to 12 ft., with the floor generally not visible 
(see also Denniston's sections 121, 114, 112, and 122). The coal is hard, and of splen- 
did quality, especially in the mine- workings. The roof is generally sandstone, but in 
places is much less desirable shale. 

On the western side of Burnett Creek south of Burnett's Face there is very little 
coal, the seam thinning very much, and in places apparently disappearing altogether. 
In unj case the coal-bearing horizon is largely denuded, so that between Coalbrookdale 
and Denniston patches of pre-Tertiary rocks appear on the surface. 


In the cliffs south of Coalbrookdale overlooking Cascade Creek valley thick clean 
coal is exposed in many places. The outcrops show 12 ft. to 25 ft. of coal, and occur 
at heights ranging from 1,800 ft. to 2,350 ft. The roof is generally sandstone or grit, 
disposed almost horizontally. 

The greater part of Cascade Creek valley is devoid of coal-measures, but towards 
its head the downward movement caused by the Mount William and some nearly parallel 
faults has preserved from complete denudation a patch which at its north-east end is 
continuous with the main area. Though the coal-outcrops seen here are thin (2 ft. to 
6 ft.), lower down the creek coal from 15 ft. to 20 ft. thick is exposed. Denniston 
reports many outcrops from 20 ft. to 40 ft. thick, but probably his estimates are in 
most cases over the mark. For instance, the outcrop near the mouth of Hagen Creek 
stated by him to be 30 ft. thick (section No. 167, page 168 of report) appears to be only 
20 ft. or so in thickness, a dimension, however, that is by no means to be despised, 
especially since the coal is of good quality. 

The Cascade Creek coal is somewhat shattered, and in places completely crushed, 
but is clean and otherwise of good quality. The coal-bearing area is small, and it is 
doubtful whether the Westport Coal Company, which holds most of the ground, and 
is now working the upper or northern portion, will find it worth while to extract the 
coal near the southern end. The locality has been full)' described and mapped by 
Cox, Denniston, and Cooper, under the name of Todea Creek.* Owing to the non- 
recognition of faulting, Cox's boundaries do not quite coincide with those shown b)' 
the maps accompanying the present report. This statement, however, is not intended 
to imply that the new boundaries are rigorously accurate. 

West from Coalbrookdale towards the Whareatea the coal thins and in many places 
has a treacherous shale roof. Apparently workable • outcrops may be seen in the Upper 
Whareatea, and occur at wide intervals for some distance down the narrow valley of 
the stream. The best of these latter exposures is in the stream-bed close to V 40 
Creek junction, at a height of 2,030 ft. above sea-level. The coal is here of very good 
quality, and of workable though undeterminable thickness. About a quarter of a mile 
to the north-west of this occurrence coal several feet thick is visible on the north side 
of the Whareatea. To the westward only carbonaceous shale, with thin coaly layers, 
is observable. (See also Denniston's sections Nos. 127 and 128, page 161 of his report.) 

(9.) Lower Wainiangaroa Area. — The Lower Waimangaroa area may be defined as 
including the sloping ground from Stony Creek to Waimangaroa, and thence to the 
Whareatea River. Throughout this area the coal-measures have in general a westerly 
dip exceeding 25°, and towards its western margin become thoroughly involved in the 
Lower Buller or Kongahu fault-zone. According to Denniston and Cooper the coal- 
bearing portion of the area is no less than 1,200 acres, but this includes a portion of 
the coastal plain, and much ground where no workable outcrops can be seen. The 
proved coal-bearing ground is by no means of great extent, while the coal is throughout 
broken, crushed, and frequenth- "' sooty,'" as may be judged from Denniston's report. 
Some distance up Kiwi Creek, at a height of about 400 ft., a large amount of coaly 
material is visible in the debris on the soutli bank. This is the localit\- of Denniston's 
outcrops No. 150, erroneously recorded as in Stony (Jreek. Somewhat to the north- 
ward, on Organs Spur, Denniston notes other coal-outcrops, one being 30 ft. thick 
(sections Nos. 151 and 152, pages 131, 165, 166 of his repoi't). 

Less than a quarter of a mile south of Waimangaroa Village railway-station coal 
outcrops a few feet above the railway to Conn's Creek. Appearances are quite consistent 

* Rop. G.S. (luring 1874-7(i, No. !), 1877, p)). 109-1 1, &c. Tlio nanio Todoa Croek seems to liave been 
;;iven owiiig to some misapprehension concerning the position of Cascade Cieek. 


with a thickness of 30 ft. The coal here strikes 214°, and has a north-westerly dip 
of 60°, lessening somewhat to the south-east. It was prospected in early days by 
Sims and by Eoche, and during the years 1891-92 worked by Young and Haylock. 
There were five levels, No. 1 being the lowest, of which No. 4 was Roche's drive, 
in which Denniston reports 18 ft. of coal, with a westerly dip of 40° (section No. 147). 
At the points where Young and Haylock's workings ended the coal had thinned, it 
is stated, to 2 ft. owing to a roll. Beyond this the probability is that the coal again 
thickens. Unfortunately the coal is much crushed, and therefore, though not high in 
ash, is of a quality not profitably saleable at the present time. 

East of Young and Haylock's workings, and on the other side of the Waimangaroa. 
River, is the old Wellington Mine, first prospected, it would seem, by Sims and Mul- 
holland. According to Denniston, Sims's (or Mulholland's) drift cut coal 18 ft. thick, 
evidently of a crushed and sooty (" blind ") character. 

On the slope of Sims Spur, overlooking the Waimangaroa, near which the Koranui 
incline was afterwards constructed, Denniston noted various outcrops of coal (Nos. 149, 
153-57) varying in quality, but all, except No. 149, of great thickness. Probably, 
therefore, this part of Sims Spur is worthy of careful reprospecting. 

On the bridle-track from Waimangaroa Village to Denniston, at a height of 645 ft., 
a seam showing over 8 ft. of clean but somewhat crushed coal is exposed. It is under- 
lain by 12 ft. of black micaceous mudstone followed by coarse arkositic grit. The 
coal strikes 216°, and dips at 45° to the north-west. 

On the road from Waimangaroa to Denniston at various points from approximately 
650 ft. to 1,900 ft. or more in elevation, outcrops of crushed, sooty, and in places dirty 
coal appear. These are of moderate thickness only, and dip north-west or west- 
north-west at angles from 40° downwards. The enclosing rocks are, as usual, grit, 
sandstone, and shale. 

On the whole, the coal of the Waimangaroa area does not give much promise of 
being again worked in the near future. The coal, though thick, is extremely crushed 
and " sooty," and at the present time could hardly be used for any other purpose 
than the manufacture of coke. To the south-westward of the Waimangaroa-Denniston 
Road the coal seems to become very thin, and ultimately quite disappears, but possibly 
this is the result of denudation rather than of an original absence of coal from the 
strata. Indirectly, the thick coal near Waimangaroa Village is of some value, since 
it indicates the probability of workable coal at depth beneath the Westport flats. 

10. Mount Rochfort Area. — The Mount Rochfort area may be defined as the some- 
what extensive district covered by coal-measures that lies south-west of the Whareatea 
River with its tributary Trent Creek, and extends almost to the Buller River. Mount 
Rochfort (3,382 ft.) is its culminating-point, whilst on the lowest slopes of that mountain 
and near the Buller it is not far above sea-level. On the whole it is an almost barren 
area, large portions having been originally devoid of workable coal, and other portions 
having lost nearly all their coal through denudation. 

At the head of Conglomerate Creek, at a point about 2,600 ft. above sea-level, a 
band of carbonaceous shale containing some impure coal is visible. In this locality 
Denniston gives a section (No. 133) with 6 ft. of coal, but no such outcrop was 
observed by the members of the Geological Survey party. Hence to the summit of 
Mount .Rochfort no coal can be seen. On the map with manuscript additions previously 
mentioned is marked a series of outcrops (numbered 141 to 143) somewhat below the 
base of the high cliffs that trend eastward from the summit of Rochfort. Presumably 
these outcrops correspond to the somewhat elaborate sections with the same 
numbers given by Denniston in his report (page 164), from which it appears that two 
small coal-seams are exposed. Owing to the locality being bush-clad and very difficult 


of access,, it was not ve-explored by the Geological Survey party. Further investigation 
seems desirable, though commercial results need not be expected. 

Of two further outcrops, presumably of coal, shown in manuscript on the map 
mentioned above, one is nearly three-quarters of a mile south-west, and the other 
12 chains north-west, of the trigonometrical station on Mount Rochfort. 

In the upper part of Christmas Creek (Fairdown), at a height of about 1,000 ft., 
dark shale with coaly bands and much loose crushed coal are visible. A small branch 
which now receives the overflow of Lake Rochfort exposes some loose coal on its 
banks, and near the shores of the lake small coal-seams associated with grit and 
sandstone outcrop. 

On the track leading to Lake Rochfort, not far above the coastal plain, broken coal 
belonging to a small seam is exposed. 

In Deadman Creek, at a height of about 480 ft., loose coal appears in the gravels 
of the terrace bordering the stream, but no outcrop has been found in this locality. 

In Wright or Coal Creek, which flows westward from trig, station M, a point 
on the ridge trending south-west from Mount Rochfort, are indications of coal similar 
to those in Christmas Creek. At approximately 790 ft. and 1,025 ft. loose crushed 
coal is abundant on the banks of the stream. 

West Creek, south of Wright Creek, shows similar unsatisfactory coal shoadings at 
points high up its valley. Apparently on the strength of these, two bores have been 
drilled in search of coal (see also page 186). 

The Mount Rochfort area may be regarded as entirely worthless from a mining 
standpoint. Its coal shoadings and carbonaceous shale outcrops are of value only as 
indicating the possibility of workable coal beneath the flats extending northward and 
westward from the neighbourhood of the Nine- mile Ferry (Te Kuha), the Orowaiti 
terraces, &c. 

(11.) Northern Part of Mount William Range and Head of Erin Greek. — Between 
the Upper Blackburn Valley and the northern part of the Mount William fault is a 
broken hilly country of moderate elevation, in part clad by low forest, in part open, 
more especially on the ridges. This district, in accordance with the general structure 
of the Papahaua earth-block, has an easterly tilt, but the drainage is to the nortli- 
north-east, mainly into Erin Creek, and thence to St. Patrick Stream. From it the 
bituminous coal-measures have been very largely removed by denudation, but besides 
numerous minor remnants of the lower grits and sandstones there remains an L-shapcd 
strip of coal-measures which extends south-south-west from St. Patrick Stream to 
trig, station AF, and thence east-south-east to the Blackburn pakihi. This area 
shows a number of workably thick outcrops of good coal, but these are far from 
being continuous, so that the coal is in comparatively small patches, of little interest 
from a mining standpoint. 

In order to illustrate the outcrops one or two of the best sections may be given. 
East of the upper part of Darcy Creek, at a point 50 chains east of trig. AF, over 
12 ft. (perhaps 16 ft.) of good clean coal outcropping at a height of approximately 
2,120ft. is overlain by many feet of coarse sandstone and giit containing thin coal 
and shale seams. Tlic floor as seen is 3 ft. of shale, resting on coarse grit approaching 
a conglomerate. These beds have a gentle dip to the north-north-cast. An analysis 
of the coal is given on page 139. 

Thirty chains to the south-west the following section is visible : 6 ft. sandstone, 
underlain in order by 5 ft. shale, 10 ft. coal, 3 ft. shale, 6 ft. sandstone, 20 ft. grit, 
6 ft., shale and fine sandstone with tliin seams of coal, 20 ft. grit, 6 ft. sandstone 
with a tiiin coal seam, and 20 ft. grit. The total thickness of the exposed section is 


thus somewhat over 100 ft. Not far away coarse basal conglomerate, capped by grit, 

The somewhat flat ridge forming the northern part of the Mount William Kange, 
and having trig. AF (2,700 ft.) as its highest point, shows everywhere outcrops of 
coal-measure grit. Small portions of the ridge contain coal of good thickness and 
quality, but the remainder, probably owing to denudation, is apparently devoid of 
workable coal. 

The main seam of coal in the area just described may tentatively be regarded as 
the Matipo seam, and the smaller seams as splits from it. 

(12.) Central and Southern Parts of Mount William Range. — Southward from the 
saddle half a mile south of trig. AF the coal-measures have been entirety removed 
by denudation for a distance of over two miles and a half. Near Wilson Saddle a 
coal-bearing outlier extending for some distance to the east begins. Close to the 
saddle is the following section : 12 ft. grit, underlain in order by 12 ft. sandstone, 
10 ft. shale, 8 ft. of friable but clean coal (height 2,190 ft.), 15 ft. shale with coaly 
layers near the top, and finally grit separated by a few feet of unknown material 
from the overlying shale. The coal is in a somewhat narrow ridge, and occupies no 
great area. 

The only other observed outcrop in the outlier worth note is a mile to the east- 
ward, where, at an elevation of 1,480 ft., at a point crossed by the foot-track to the 
Mackley, an outcrop of liard coal at least 8 ft. in thickness is visible with difficulty in 
a fissure almost hidden by vegetation. A few feet above the coal grit is exposed, 
so that this rock probabty forms the roof. 

Between Wilson Saddle and Mount William are several other outliers of the 
bituminous coal-measures, but none of these contains any coal of importance. Mount 
William itself is capped by a considerable coal-bearing outlier approximately 110 chains 
long and 21 chains in average width which lies at heights of from 2,800 ft. to 3,482 ft. 
above sea-level. The area as measured by planimeter is 234 acres, of which 180 acres 
probably contains coal of workable thickness. The coal as seen on the margin of the 
outlier is from 6 ft. to over 20 ft. thick, but is friable and in places somewhat dirty. 
Denniston's sections (Nos. 102 to 108, pages 155-57 of his report) show a maxi- 
mum thickness of 40 ft. of coal. This, however, is probably an over-estimate. 
The immediate roof of the coal in many places is shale, above which comes a con- 
siderable thickness of sandstone and grit with one or two small coal-seams. 

Towards the north-east of the outlier the Mount William coal becomes thin, and 
when its somewhat poor quality, isolation, and height are taken into account, it 
would appear that the working of the area is not at present feasible. This remark, 
however, cannot be held to apply to the future, for when the better and more 
easily accessible Coalbrookdale coal is exhausted, attention will be turned to Mount 

(13.) Oinanu (Back) Creek or Moran's Water-race Outcrop. — The only indication of 
bituminous coal for many miles south of the Buller is seen near Omanu Creek at the 
point where it enters gneissic country and is crossed by the Lower Buller fault. On 
the north side of the stream, at a point 610 ft. above sea-level, a drift, now in bad 
condition, has been driven for a short distance, and probably enters Eocene coal- 
measures. The tip shows a considerable amount of broken and crushed bituminous 
coal. On the south side of the stream, 80 ft. up the slope, and just above Moran's 
(now McCann's) water-race, another drift, now entirely collapsed, has been made. 
Completely crushed coal shows on the steep hillside at this point, and though perhaps 


not strictly in place, may be considered to represent an outcrop. With it is associated 
a few feet of grit of Eocene facies, which strikes south-west, and has a vertical dip. 
Any further exploration of this outcrop is quite unnecessary. It is merely a fault- 
involved fragment of the bituminous coal-measures, and therefore indicates their westerly 
extension beneath the lowlands, but is otherwise valueless. 

Gohe and Briquettes. 

The Westport bituminous coals as mined usually make hard firm cokes, suitable 
for most metallurgical processes. As a whole they are too high in sulphur to make 
the best class of coke for foundry-work and iron-smelting, but by selecting the best 
faces this disadvantage may be partly avoided. In the coking process nearly half 
the sulphur in the coal seems to be eliminated. At this point mention may again be 
made of the natural coke found on the south bank of Chasm Creek, near Dove's drive. 

Analyses of coal used for coking 

and of ar 

tificial and 

natural coke 

are as f( 

)llows : — 







Fixed carbon 







Volatile hydrocarbons 







Water . . 





















Total sulphur per cent. 




Calories per gram 




B.t.u. per pound. . 




Phosphorus per cent. 

. . 



Total arsenic in parts per 


4 to 6 

4 to 6 






4 to 6 


Lab. Rep. 

No. 46, 

(1.) Crushed coal from Millerton Mine, used for coke and gas making. 

1913, p. 11. 
(2.) Coke in lumps, representing an average of several ovens (Granity). 

1913, p. 11. 
(3.) Coke (crushed) from No. 2. Lab. Rep. No. 46, 1913, p. 11. 
(4.) Coke, Millerton Colliery (Granity coke-ovens). Lab. Rep. No. 46, 1913, p 
(5.) Coke, Granity coke-ovens. Grab sample. 
(6.) Natural coke. Chasm Creek. Single lump. 

Lab. Rep. No. 46, 


The ash of the natural coke (No. 6) 

las the 


composition : — 

Silica (SiOa) 


Alumina (AlgOj) . . 


Iron-oxide (FegOg) 


Manganese-oxide (MnO) 


Lime (CaO) 


Magnesia (MgO) 


Mixed alkalies (K^O, Na^O) 


Titanium-dioxide (TiOg) 



. Nil 

Undetermined (? carbon) 



* Phosphoric aiihydrido 021 per cent. 


The following are analyses of briquettes and eggettes made from Seddonville slack 

with the addition of pitch at the Westport works : — 

(1-) (2.) 

Fixed carbon . . . . . . . . 48-84 46-93 

Volatile hydrocarbons . . . . . . 41-46 42-05 

Water . . . . . . . . . . 5-54 8-03 

Ash .. .. .. .. .. 4-16 2-99 

100-00 100-00 

Total sulphur per cent. 



Calories per gram 

. . 



B.t.u. per pound 



Theoretical evaporative power 

in pounds of 

water at 212° F. . . 



Eeference : Lab. Eep. No. 43, 1910, p. 7. 


General Description. 

The lower horizon of the Oamaru Series in most localities contains one or more 
seams of brown coal, which may, on the one hand, approach a pitch or even a 
bituminous coal, and, on the other, grade into lignite with over 20 per cent, of water. 
The coal in places is very thick, but there can be no doubt as to its lenticular nature. 
If this feature is not duly appreciated, overestimates of the quantity of workable 
coal in any given area will result. 

The brown coal of the subdivision occurs principally in two localities — Charleston, 
and those parts of the Buller Valley adjacent to the Inangahua district. Outcrops 
are also known at Tauranga Bay and near Cape Foulwind. East of Hawk's Crag very 
thin seams of dirty coal, almost bituminous in composition, appear in a horizon lower 
than that of the main brown-coal seam. No coal has been found in the Miocene 
rocks between the Mokihinui River and Karamea, except the thin and dirty seams of 
lignite reported by Webb as occurring in the Upper Kongahu Formation just to the 
north of the area mapped by him, and doubtfully outcropping within the Mount 
Radiant Subdivision itself.* In a similar horizon is some lignitic material penetrated 
by the Westport Harbour Board's bore near Addison's Flat. 

Physical Charactefs. 

The brown coal or lignite at Charleston and Tauranga Bay is of somewhat dull 
appearance, and when exposed to the sun and weather, like other similar coals, soon 
disintegrates. The freshly mined material, however, is compact, and stands ordinary 
handling very well. The Buller Valley coal is of better appearance than the Charleston 
lignite, lustrous bands being much more prominent. As a rule it is compact, and 
resists weathering to a considerable extent, though in this respect it is not to be 
compared with the bituminous coals. 

Resin is a prominent constituent of the brown coals, especially at Charleston. 

Chemical Composition. 

The thin lignite-deposits near Cape Foulwind contain a very high percentage of 
water. The thicker seams in the same horizon at Tauranga Bay, less than two miles 

* N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 11, 1910, pp. 21, 40. 


away, are considerably lower in water, and are quite serviceable for household use. 
Sulphur, however, is high. The coal mined at Charleston is very similar in composition 
to the Tauranga Bay material, the water approaching 20 per cent., and the sulphur 
lying between 5 and 6 per cent. 

The brown coal of the Buller Valley has been subjected to a greater amount of 
earth-movement than the Charleston coal, and this is probably the reason why the 
former is on the whole of decidedly better quality, being higher in fixed carbon and 
lower in water. Its sulphur-content is also less. 

Analyses. — -In the following table are quoted a number of analyses of the Miocene 
coals made at various times : — 






o ti 




Remarks and Reference. 







Average analysis given by S. H. Cox 
in " Notes on the Mineralogy of 
New Zealand," Trans., vol. xv, 
1883, p. 367. 


Darlde Creek, Charleston 





Collected by A. McKay. Lab. Rep. 
No. 29, 1896, p. 6. Analyst, 
W. Skey. 







Per Mr. Blaine, Charleston. Lab. 
Rep. No. 30, 1897, p. 6. Analyst, 
W. Skey. 








Sample collected by Geological Sur- 









Average of four samples from different 
pits collected by Geological Sur- 

Calories 4987. Sample collected by 


Tauranga Bay 






Geological Survey. 


Cape Foulwind 





Forwarded by Mr. A. D. Bayfeild, as 
taken from under 6 fathoms of 
water. Sea-shells embedded in it. 
Lab. Rep. No. 29, 1895, p. 4. 
Analyst, W. Skey. 


Cape Foulwind (cliffs) . . 





Analyst, H. Lovell, Director West- 
port School of Mines. 


Station 38, Nada Creek . . 






Collected from 1 ft. 10 in. coal-seam 
by Geological Survey. Ash, grey 
in colour. 


Station 46, Nada Creek 






Collected from large coal-seam by 
Geological Survey. Ash, light grey. 


Station 5, Zulu Creek 






Collected from large coal-seam by 
Geological Survey. Ash, light grey. 


Pensini and Slug creeks 






Average of six samples collected by 
Geological Survey. 


Blue Duck Creek, near sta- 
tion 43 





Firm grey coke with metaliic lustre. 
Sample coUeoted and analysed by 
J. V. Kitto (member of Geological 
Survey party). 


Blue Duck Creek, near sta- 
tion 43 






Collected by Geological Surve.y. 
Specific gravity 1-28. Calories 


7,004. Forms a firm swollen coke. 


Blue Duck Creek, between 
stations 79 and 80 


43-99 3-06 



Collected by Geological S u r v e y. 
Specific gravity 1-34. Calories 
6,442. Forms a soft coko. 


Inaugahua Survey District 


42-74 12-54 



Average of eleven samples collected 

by Geological Survey in 1913 and 



Near Hawk's Crag 





Soft and intensely black coal ; does 
not cake. Lab. Rep. No. 29, 1895, 
p. 5. Analyst, W. Skey. 


Near Hawk's Crag 






Non-caking. Collected from small 
seam by Geological Survey. 



The facts observed in connection with the bedding and other characters of the 
brown coals favour the drift theory rather than that of growth in situ. The chief 
observations connected with the question of origin may be summarized as follows : — 

1. The coal-seams are highly lenticular. This features is especially prominent 
near Charleston. 

2. Lumps of resin, which are apparently transported, occur in many places. 

3. At Charleston large flinty concretions and balls of clayey material are abundant 
in the coal. Lenticular shaly bands are also a prominent feature. 

4. Sea-shells are reported as occurring embedded in lignite obtained by dredging 
near Cape Foulwind.* This, if correct, would imply that the lignite was deposited 
under marine conditions. Mr. A. D. Bayfeild, however, who forwarded the sample 
to the Colonial Laboratory, has been kind enough to inform one of the writers that, so 
far as he recollects, seaweed and shells were adhering to the outside, a circumstance 
which, of course, is without significance in connection with the question of origin. 

Detailed Description of Outcrops. 

(1.) Charleston District. — About a mile south of the Four-mile Stream, on the 
eastern side of the bridle-track leading to Brighton, at least 4 ft. of lignite outcrops. 
There is here an outlier of the Miocene coal-measures, somewhat over half a mile long, 
but probably less than 20 chains in maximum width. It rests on gneiss, which outcrops 
on three sides, but on the fourth is hidden by high-level auriferous gravels. 

Somewhat to the north of Four-mile Stream is a much larger outlier of Miocene 
rocks, again resting on gneiss. This exhibits near the eastern side of the Brighton- 
Charleston Road several outcrops of workably thick lignite. 

About a mile and a quarter to the south of Charleston, and east of the Brighton 
Road, a third small gneiss-surrounded outlier of the brown coal or lignite measures 
appears. Here the following section is visible : Soil and gravel, underlain in order by 
2 ft. shale, 6 in. lignite, 4| ft. shale, 1| ft. lignite, 1 ft. or more of shale, 3 ft. to 4 ft. 
lignite, a considerable thickness of light-brown shale, and finally a nearly white rock, 
probably sandstone (see Fig. 17). To the south of this section the main coal-seam 
thickens, whilst 3 ft. below it a small lignite-seam makes its appearance, and, owing 
to the thinning of the intervening shale, approaches within a foot of the main body 
before being lost to sight. 

About half a mile to the north-east of the last-mentioned area, in Victoria Gully, 
thin lignite-seams striking 236° and dipping at 8° to the south-eastf may be seen. A 
second observation in the same locality gives a dip noted as 12° or over. 

Immediately south of Charleston lignite is close to the surface over an area of 
approximately 80 acres, and has been worked by means of numerous open pits for 
local use. As disclosed by these workings, the coal is from 6 ft. to 20 ft. thick, but in 
no case is the floor seen. The seam lies nearly horizontal, and only in one or two 
places does it show a gentle south-easterly dip. The roof in one pit consists of a 
foot or two of brown marine sandstone, overlain by soil, whilst in another working 
there is a variation from cemented to loose sand. These roof-rocks join the coal in a 
somewhat irregular manner, and are almost certainty unconformable Pleistocene sands, 
the original Miocene cover having been removed by erosion. As shown by sections 
elsewhere, the normal coal-roof is shale. The occurrence illustrates an unconformity 
that is difficult to detect. 

* Twenty-nintli Annual Report of the Colonial Laboratory, 1895, p. 5. 

t On th» map the dip has been plotted in the wrong direction according to the field-notes taken in this 


East of Charleston, near Darkie Creek, thick coal outcrops, and for many years 
was worked as the " Charleston Mine." North of the township, and on the west side 
of the road to Westport, is Warne's pit. The coal outcropping near the road rests on 
shale, below which is grit, and is unconformably overlain b}^ beach-sands. The coal- 
bearing rocks have a gentle but varying dip, in one place northward, in another south- 

South of west from Warne's pit, near the shore of Constant Bay, the following 
section is shown in a low cliff : Light-coloured shale, underlain by 5 ft. to 6 ft. lignite, 
2 ft. to 3 ft. light-coloured shale, 2 ft. to 3 ft. lignite, a few feet of shale, current-bedded 
sandstone, and grit passing into conglomerate (see Fig. 18a). A few chains to the 
northward is the highly variable section illustrated by Fig. 18b. 

The following analyses of moderately air-dried samples of Charleston brown or 
lignitic coal may be quoted : — 

Fixed carbon 
Volatile hydrocarbons 
Water . . 
Ash .. 

Total sulphur per cent. 
Calories per gram . . 
B.t.u. per pound . . 
Specific gravity 



































(1.) Average of nine samples from various outcrops. See Dom. Lab. Rep. No. 46, 1913, 
p. 13. Some samples on being heated in a closed vessel fritted or gave a soft 
pulverulent coke. 

(2.) From Sweeney's pit — First sample. 

(3.) From Sweeney's pit. — Second sample. 

(4.) From Lavery's pit. 

(5.) From Warne's pit. 

An ultimate analysis of the first sample from Sweeney's pit gave the following 

results : — 





Nitrogen . 





Ferric oxide in asli 

Calories per gram as calculated from analysis 
Soluble in pyridine (approximately) . . 
Soluble in carbon-bisulphide . . . . 

Oil per cent. 


17-2 per cent. 

1-2 per cent. 

Concerning tlie sulphur in the above sample the analyst remarks, " The lignite 
emits sulphuretted hydrogen on l)eing distilled. It contains a trace onlv of soluble 
sulphate. Judging from the carbon-bisulphide extract, which was a hard, resinoid sul)- 
stance, little if any free sulphur is present. The maximum amount of iron-p\ rites, 


assuming that all the iron in the ash is combined with sulphur, would be 0-17 per 
cent. The resin separated from the coal [see page 180] contains a smaller percentage 
of sulphur than the coal itself — namely, 3-04 as against 5-60 per cent. It is evident, 
therefore, that the sulphur is combined organically in the non-resinous portion of the 

Proximate analyses of other samples of Charleston coal are given in the table 
on a preceding page (Nos. 1-4). 

Tests of samples 4 and 5 were made in order to ascertain if gold were present. 
No. 4, from Sweeney's pit, was found to contain 0-7 gr. of gold per ton, but No. 5, 
from Lavery's pit, gave a negative result. 

The Charleston lignite on the whole has a dull appearance, but on close inspection 
shows thin layers of bright material, together with more or less resin as already described. 
Though high in water and sulphur, the coal is valuable for local use. Being easily 
and inexpensively mined from open pits, it is retailed in Charleston for a few shillings 
per ton. The water-content can be reduced by storing under cover for some time, 
but if exposed to sun and weather the coal, like other lignites, cracks extensively, 
and ultimately falls to powder. 

In most localities the coal exhibits dirt bands and partings that may either thin 
out in a short distance, or on the other hand pass into shaly bands of some thickness. 
As seen in one pit it contains numerous bluntly lensoid inclusions of clay and shale, 
the largest of which are one or two feet in thickness and several feet in length. With 
these are associated more or less rounded flinty bodies reaching diameters of over a 
foot. Some flinty matter also occurs in the shaly lenses. The coal in the neighbour- 
hood of some of the larger inclusions contains small patches of clay that recall to 
mind the " spotted coal " found near the roof in some parts of the Green Island dis- 
trict, Otago. 

The Charleston coal, like most lignites, is very easily ignited, and is moreover liable 
to spontaneous combustion. Since much of the coal-bearing land is overrun with 
gorse, it is not surprising that outcrops have been set on fire several times. So far, 
however, these fires have been extinguished without serious damage being done. 

(2.) Cape Foulwind and Tauranga Bay. — In the railway-cutting near Cape Foulwind 
a thin gritty carbonaceous band is visible, interbedded with fine conglomerate and grit 
resting on gneissic granite. A short distance to the south-east, in the cliff facing the 
beach, are two thin irregular seams- of dull-looking lignite, and it is reported that a 
third small seam, probably corresponding to that seen in the cutting, is at times 
exposed on the beach. The section ' shown by the cliff is : 30 ft. of marine mudstone 
with limestone bands, underlain by 40 ft. soft grit, 1 in. to 4 in. lignite, 6 ft. grit, 
3 in. (more or less) of lignite, 40 ft. oi' more coarse grit. These beds strike north and 
south, and dip at 15° to the east. An analysis of the lignitic material is given in the 
table on page 173 (No. 7). It is hardly necessary to point out how different this 
hydrous low-grade coal is from thp magnificent bituminous fuel mined in the upland 
country, and that on the ground of chemical composition alone correlation (pace McKay) 
between the Cape Foulwind and Denniston beds is highly improbable. 

On Tauranga Bay beach, at the point where a small stream enters the bay, several 
seams of fairly good and bright-looking lignite are exposed whenever the beach is suffi- 
ciently washed clear of sand. On the 19th October, 1912, four seams were more or 
less visible, the lowest, about 3 ft. thick, being under ain and overlain by dark shaly 
rocks, with a strike of 178°, and a dip of about 5° to the east. The next seam, 3J ft. 
thick, contained a good deal of resin, and was overlain by dark shaly sandstone. The 

* Lab. Rep. No. 47, 1914, p. 15. 


other two seams were each apparently over 1 ft. in thickness. Analysis No. 6 in the 
table on page 173, represents the lowest seam exposed on the date mentioned. 

(3.) Thin Seams near Hawk's Crag. — A quarter of a mile north-north-east of Hawk's 
Crag two small coal-seams outcrop within a few yards of each other on the eastern side 
of the Buller Gorge Road. They are mentioned by McKay in one of his reports.* 
The larger seam, about 8 in. in average thickness, consists of crushed and somewhat 
impure sooty coal, low in volatile matter, as is shown by analyses Nos. 16 and 17 
on page 173. The interbedded strata are shale, sandstone, and fine conglomerate, strik- 
ing 326°, and dipping at 75° to the south-west. The strike and dip of the rocks 
exposed in the neighbourhood are very variable, and much affected by faulting. A 
careful inspection of the outcrops on the steep slope above the road shows that an 
unconformity may possibly exist at a higher horizon than the coal, which in that case 
will be Eocene, and not Miocene. Though this supposition is supporLcd to some extent 
by the composition of the coal and by other data obtained from the examination of the 
neighbouring area — a difficult one to decipher — yet the writers, regarding the opposing 
evidence as somewhat stronger, have not been able to give it acceptance. 

(4.) Blackwater Valley. — In the upper watershed of Nada Creek, an eastern branch 
of the Blackwater River,f brown coal outcrops in a number of places. The first 
exposure seen on ascending the creek is on the western bank, at a point 7-50 ft. above 
sea-level, about two miles or somewhat more from its mouth. Here 22 in. of clean- 
looking and hard though somewhat dull-lustred coal, underlain by shaly mudstone, 
and overlain by fine conglomerate, is exposed in a cliff-face 30 ft. above the stream. 
Analysis No. 8 on page 173 represents a sample broken from the outcrop. 

Between 25 and 30 chains farther up the creek a series of coal-outcrops is seen 
to begin. The observed heights above sea-level are from 765 ft. to 800 ft., and the coal, 
now on one side of the stream, now on the other, is on the average 10 ft. to 15 ft. in 
thickness It is clean, in places somewhat friable, but elsewhere hard, of varying 
but generally moderately bright lustre, and of the composition shown by analysis No. 9 
on page 173. The clearest section is as follows : 20 ft. of sandstone, underlain by 8 ft. 
coal, 3 ft. shale, and 4 ft. coal, with floor not seen. The strike and dip of the coal- 
bearing strata in this locality are irregular. The observations made are: Strikes, 311° 
and 261° ; dips, 10° to the south-west and 5° to the northward respectively. 

A quarter of a mile or more above Zulu Creek junction coal again appears on the 
western bank of Nada Creek. The outcrop is about 840 ft. above sea-level, and shows 
a considerable thickness of clean coal resting on sandstone. 

A short distance up Zulu Creek from its mouth thick but crushed coal is visible 
near ' the left bank at a height of 830 ft. Fine conglomerate and grit, striking 239° 
and dipping at 40° to the north, outcrop on the right bank. A fault, probably striking 
with the strata, is evidently here present. Analysis No. 10 on page 173 shows the 
composition of the coal. 

In a rill joining Lily Creek, a branch of Nada Creek, from the south-east a small 
coal-seam enclosed in shaly rock outcrops at a point not determined by survey, but 
about half a mile east of north from the 1 ft. 10 in. outcrop in Nada Creek. Towards the 
head of this rill, at a height of 930 ft., large pieces of coal with a thickness of 2 ft. to 
3 ft. occur in the bed, but no outcrop is visible, probably owing to concealment 
by the huge blocks of limestone and other rocks tliat more than fill the stream- 
channel in this locality. 

♦"Report on tlie Oeology of the South-west Part of Nelson and the Northern Part of Westland." 
Mines Report, (!.-13, 180(), p. 26. Second edition, 1897, p. 60. 

t This is not the Blackwater River south of Reefton, but a stream entering the BuUer about half-way 
between Westport and Inangahua .Junction. 

12— Buller- Mokihiuui. 


(5.) Pensini Creek Watershed. — Coal has been reported as occurring near Pensini 
Creek about two miles above its junction with the Buller. Quite probably the state- 
ment is correct, but, if so, the coal is involved in a considerable fault that crosses the 
stream in this locality. Some miles farther up-stream, two or three chains south of 
the point where the rough trail called the " Buller County Council Prospecting Track " 
crosses the creek, and immediately below a 30 ft. waterfall, brown coal outcrops on the 
eastern side in a little rill valley. The seam is over 6 ft. thick, with a sandstone 
roof passing into a shaly rock, and a gritty sandstone floor. These beds have a slight 
southerly dip. The upper part of the seam is friable, the lower hard and stony- 
looking. Small pieces of resin occur somewhat plentifully in the coal. Two or three 
chains down-stream a seam of clean, fairly hard and bright coal, 8 ft. or more in 
thickness, outcrops at an approximate height of 990 ft. above sea-level on the right or 
western bank of the stream. 

The bed of the meandering branch of Pensini Creek named " Slug Creek," at the 
point where it is crossed by the trail mentioned above, exhibits numerous pieces of 
loose somewhat dull-looking coal. Ten chains above the crossing, at approximately 
985 ft. above sea - level, a coal-seam over 6 ft. thick outcrops on both banks and in 
the stream-channel. The roof is sandstone, and the floor dark carbonaceous sandstone, 
underlain by light-coloured sandstone. These beds strike nearly north and south, and 
have a westerly dip of 12° to 15°. A few chains farther up-stream the coal, though 
hard and clean, as seen on the south side of a meander, is only 4|- ft. thick. Koof 
and floor are sandstone, dipping gently to the north-west. On the north side of the 
meander, 15 chains in a straight line from the foot-track crossing, a foot of coal is 
visible at water-level, whilst a chain farther up a small impure upper seam outcrops 
on the stream-bank. The enclosing rocks are sandstone, grit, and fine conglomerate. 
Thirty-two chains north from the track crossing at a point about 1,030 ft. above sea- 
level, 4 ft. to 5 ft. of not very hard coal, dipping westerly, is seen near water-level. 

Seven analyses of coal from Pensini and Slug creeks were made, with the following 
results : — 

(1.) 1 







Fixed carbon 

Volatile liydrocarbons . . 


Ash . . 



























Totals . . 








Total sulphur per cent. . . 
Calories per gram 
B.t.u. per pound 
Evaporative power per 

pound in pounds of 

water at 212° P. 



























No. 1 frits but does not cake ; 2 is non-caking ; 3, 4, 6, and 7 form loose cokes ; 5 forms 
a fairly compact coke. The ash of No. 1 is dark-brown. 

(1.) Loose coal from bed of Slug Creek at track-crossing. 

(2.) Upper part of seam near Pensini Creek waterfall. 

(3.) Lower part of seam near Pensini Creek waterfall. 

(4.) From 8 ft. seam, west bank of Pensini Creek. 

(5.) From outcrop, about 10 chains above track crossing, Slug Creek. 

(6.) From 4|- ft. outcrop, about 14 chains above track crossing, Slug Creek. 

(7.) From 4 ft. to 5 ft. outcrop, about 32 chains above track crossing, Slug Creek. 


The brown coal of Pensini Creek valley on the whole is of good quality and very 
suitable for household use. It resists weathering very fairly, and therefore could be 
transported without trouble arising from its disintegration. The locality, however, 
is remote and difficult of access, so that there is no probability of the deposits being 
utilized in the near future. 

(6.) Blue Duck Creek. — In Blue Duck Creek, a tributary of the Mackley, two out- 
crops of coal were noted by Mr. H. S. Whitehorn, Assistant Topographer. The lower 
of these is just outside the southern boundary of Orikaka Survey District, and 
approximately 90 chains or 1| miles* south of east from the mouth of the stream. 
Here 3 ft. of hard bright coal, underlain by 3 ft. of mudstone or shale, and this again 
by 1 ft. of coal, is visible. The beds strike 356°, and dip 33° to the west, apparently 
under coarse grit or fine conglomerate. Analyses 12 and 13 on page 173 show the 
composition of the upper 3 ft. seam. A mile* to the north of east from the locality 
just mentioned a seam of hard and bright coal, probably not more than 2 ft. thick, 
outcrops in the stream-bed. It has a strike of 221° and a dip of 55° to the south- 
east. Its composition is shown by analysis No. 14 on page 173. 

From the analyses it will be seen that the Blue Duck Creek coal is almost 
bituminous in character, and is therefore similar to the highly altered Miocene coals 
near Three-channel Flat and Eeefton. 


" Doughboys " are masses of soft material, found chiefly in the Seddonville coal. 
They have also been observed, though of smaller size, in the Liverpool State Colliery, 
G-reymouth. The average " doughboy " is a lenticular body from 1 ft. to 2 ft. in 
maximum thickness, with a length or diameter of 8 ft. to 20 ft., and in some cases 
throws off more or less irregular branches or arms. The component material is almost 
without coherence, and so soft that a pointed stick can be easily pushed several feet 
into it. When dug out it falls into a dark-brown powder, of low specific gravity, 
that' balls with the pressure of the hand like damp bone-ash. 

" Doughboys " are highly objectionable because they form a large amount of fine 
dust that cannot be effectually separated from the coal, and where, as is usually the 
case, they are associated with friable coal, the evil is intensified. Analysis shows 
that they contain a surprising amount of combustible matter, and, in fact, differ but 
little from ordinary coal in proximate composition. Hence they are thought to represent 
drifted trees that have not been changed to the usual coaly substance. Their 
composition is shown by the following analyses : — 

Fixed carbon . . . . . . . . 53-30 

Volatile hydrocarbons . . . . . . 36-00 

Water .. .. .. .. 8-80 

Ash .. .. .. .. .. 1-90 















Total sulphur per cent. . . 

(1.) Seddonville State Colliery. Dom. Lab. Rep. No. 38, 1905, p. 5. 
(2 and 3.) Seddonville State Colliery. Collected by Geological Survey in October, 1913. 
These samples are noted by the analyst as forming firm cokes. 

* In following the stream these distances would be quite doubled. 
12*— Buller-Mokihinui. 



The occurrence of visible resin in the bituminous coals of Eocene age at Seddonville, 
Mokihinui Mine, and Denniston has already been mentioned. In the Seddonville State 
Colliery the resin is in rounded or irregular lumps, the latter of such a shape that they 
cannot have been transported as such by water, and therefore it is supposed that they 
are derived from floated trees. All the brown coals and lignite contain more or less 
resin, and this substance is especially abundant at Charleston, where it occurs both as 
lumps and as thin layers in the lignite. Of the following ultimate analyses, (1) represents 
resin from Sweeney's pit, Charleston, (2) is an analysis of fossil resin from Drury 
coal, Auckland, made by Richard Maly, and quoted by Hochstetter*, and (3) is an 
analysis of " retinite " from the Dunstan, quoted by Liversidgef : — 
























100-00 100-00 100-000 

The Charleston resin differs from most fossil resins in having lower percentages 
of carbon and hydrogen, together with higher percentages of oxygen and sulphur. In 
these respects it follows the coal with which it is associated (see analyses on page 175). 

'' ROLLS." 

The term " roll " as used by coal-miners may mean either an undulation in the 
coal-bearing strata, or a temporary thinning of the coal-seam produced either by a 
rising of the floor or by a depression of the roof. In this latter sense the term 
" squi.eze " is employed in some districts. Diagrams illustrating rolls are given 
in Bulletin No. 13 (Greymouth), pages 127 and 128. 

In the Westport district the ordinary type of " roll " is a thinning of the coal-seam, 
which is almost invariably accompanied by slight movement of the enclosing strata, and 
thus partakes of the nature of the undulatory or stratigraphical roll as well. Ver}^ 
commonly a small fault accompanies the roll, or the disturbance is in one place a mere 
undulation, and in another a fault. The Millerton and Mangatini faults illustrate this 
phenomenon on a large scale (see Chapter IV and Fig. 1), but in these cases thinning 
of the involved coal, so far as the writers know, has not been shown to exist. References 
to rolls in the Seddonville mines will be found earlier in this chapter. 

A matter of importance is the fact that' a roll accompanied by arching or doming 
of the coal-measures, however slight, may give rise to an accumulation of firedamp or 
other gas at the summit both in the coal itself, and more especially in the stratum 


A " swallow " is a small local depression or basin in coal-bearing strata, and thus 
may be looked upon as a variety of " roll." A structure of this kind is exhibited 
by the Mangatini seam immediately south of Mine Creek township. The thickness and 
quality of the coal are not affected. 

* " New Zealand," 1867, p. 79. 

t Notes on some of the New Zealand Minerals belonging to the Otago Museum, Dunedin." Trans., 
vol. X, 1878, p. 490. See also Rep. N.Z. Exhibition, 1868, p. 438 (reference given by Hector in footnote). 



I. Bituminous Coal. 

Former Estimates. 

In 1862 James Burnett,* on what was supposed to be a conservative basis, 

estimated that 72,600,000 tons of coal could be extracted from the upper Waiman- 

garoa, Coalbrookdale, and Mount Rochfort districts. This, however, was unfortunately a 

considerable overestimate for the area to which Burnett referred. 

In a report dated 1st March, 1875, and published in 1877t, Cox made the following 
rough estimate of the quantity of coal in the field : — 

-high level 

Waimangaroa basin 

Ngakawau basin— 

,, middle level 

,, low level 




Cox's estimate has been adopted by ParkJ. 

In 1877 Hector§ published the following important data obtained as a result of 
Cooper and Denniston's survey of the area extending from the Ngakawau River to 
Mount Rochfort : — 




Worlcable Coal, 
in Tons. 

Remarks Ijy Present Writers. 

in Acres. 

in Feet. 

Area 1 




Coal in ground according to data 9,750,000 
tons, or twice workable coal. 

Area 2 




Coal in groimd, 9,030,000 tons. 

Area 3 




Coal in ground, 3,840,000 tons.' 

Area 4 




Coal in ground, 38,250,000 tons. 

Area 5 




Coal in ground, 31,050,000 ton.s. Work- 
able coal presumably intended to be 
given as half that in ground, i.e., 
15,.525,000 tons. 

Area 7 




Coal in ground, 2,250,000 tons. Possibly 
area should be 1.50 acres. 

High level A . . 




Coal in ground, 7,650,000 tons. 

High level B . . 




Coal in ground, i. 912, 500 tons. 

High level C . . 




Coal in ground, 2,100,000 tons. 

Low level C . . 




Coal in ground, 2,196,000 tons. 

High level D . . 




Coal in ground, 6.750,000 tons. 

Mid level 1> . . 




Coal in ground, 24,862.500 tons. 

Low level D . . 




Coal in ground, 1 tons. 

Mid level E . . 




Coal in ground. 8,820,000 tons. 

Soutliern edge of Wai- 




Coal in ground. 810,000 tons. Half tliis 

mangaroa Gorge 

is 405,000 tons. 

Mount William 




Coal in ground, 4,050,000 tons. 

Todea Creek . . 




Coal in ground. 8.437..500 tons. 





Coal in ground, 10.800,000 tons. 

High level of Coalbrook- 




Coal in ground. 10.395.000 tons. 


Mount Rochfort 




Coal in ground, 1.200.000 tons. 

Lower Waimangaroa . . 




Goal in ground. 16.200.000 tons. 

Total . . 


■ i;mii 

105, 5.34. OOO^f 

Coal in ground, 214,003.500 tons. 

1802. No. 21, 

* " Report on the Grey Coalfield North of the Buller River." x\'elson Gazette, vol. 
pp. 73-83. 

t " Report on Survey of Buller Coalfield." Rep. G.S. during 1874-76, No. 9. 1877, p. 26. 

t " On the E.xtent and Duration of WorUal)lc Coal in New Zealand." Trans., vol. xxi. 1889. ]). 329 
" The Geology of New Zealand," 1910, p. 288. 

ij Progress Report in Rep. G.S. during 1876-77, No. 10. 1877. jjp. xv-.\vi. 

II Average thickness as calculated by writers froui data in table. 

^f In the origiual this total is priutiMl as 105,034,000 tons. 


Comment on Hector's Estimates. 

From the table above (which contains several small clerical errors) it is evident 
that Hector adopted as a basis for the calculation the usual figure of 1,500 tons per 
acre-foot, and in all cases except the last adopted 2 as a factor of safety : that is, 
he assumed that approximately half the coal in the ground was workable, or, as the 
writers suppose, extractable. Though in one or two instances Hector's estimate of 
workable coal may be under the mark, on the whole in the light of later knowledge 
it requires considerable discounting, partly because the area of workable coal is less than 
supposed by him, and partly because the average thickness of the seams is probably 
not so great as the estimate. Hector himself was well aware of the dubious elements 
that enter into all New Zealand estimates of coal, for on one occasion he said, " Nearly 
all our coals, especially those on the West Coast, have been formed in deposits like 
the Canterbury Plains. There are great quantities of conglomerates, and it is quite 
obvious that a fluviatile formation of that kind must be very liable to run out. . . . 
They are not seams that can be depended upon for steadiness, such as we are 
accustomed to find in the Carboniferous rocks of the Old Country."* 

Areas 1, 2, and 3 (see map at end of Denniston's report) are situated between 
the Ngakawau River and the Millerton fault. Thick coal outcrops near the mouth of 
Mine Creek and on the top of Crane Cliff, but elsewhere only somewhat thin coal is 
known. The proved coal is small in amount, and of little value under present New 
Zealand conditions. 

Areas 4, 5, and high level A together form a triangular area with its base on the 
Millerton fault and its apex near the head of the Waimangaroa River. The estimates 
of area may be considered accurate, but those of thickness are not on a conservative basis. 

Area 7, situated some distance east of areas 4 and 5, is that lately attacked 
by the Westport-Stockton Coal Company. This area is much underestimated, for 
considerable portions of the supposed barren area 8 and of low level A (between Plover 
Creek and St. Patrick Stream) must be added. 

In high level B (Mount Frederick) the area of workable coal is underestimated, but the 
thickness is probably overestimated for the area given, and is certainly so for the full area. 

High level C, south of Mount Frederick and west of Deep Creek, is shown as a 
blank on Cooper and Denniston's maps. Actually it is a patchy piece of ground, 
which may contain the estimated amount of coal. 

So far as shown by outcrops the coal of low level C near the right-angled bend 
of the Upper Waimangaroa is thin, but may extend southward over a larger area, and 
there be thicker (or it may not). 

The coal of high level D, formerly worked to some extent by the Koranui Company, 
is not so thick as estimated ; and the area may also be overestimated. Middle and 
low level D together form a large area extending southward from Webb Creek on 
both sides of the Waimangaroa. So far as the evidence of outcrops goes, the coal- 
bearing area in middle level D is very much overestimated, and the same statement 
applies to the estimated average thickness. Boring, however, may ultimately prove 
the area to be equal to Hector's (Denniston's) estimate. 

The estimated area of mid level E (Burnett's Face to Kiwi Compressor) is perhaps 
under the mark. 

The figures given for the small block on the south side of Waimangaroa Gorge may 
be considered approximately correct. This area was worked as the " Banbury Mine." 

The area of workable coal given for Mount William agrees with the writers' 
estimate, but it is to be feared that, owing to dirt bands and other defects, the extract- 
able coal is less than Hector's estimate. 

* Rei3ort of Coal-mines Commission, C.-4, 1901, p. 324. 


The Todea (Cascade) Creek block does not contain nearly so much coal as the 
estimate. Both area and thickness are exaggerated. 

The area and thickness of coal given for Coalbrookdale may be accepted, but 
there is reason for believing that the " high level " extending into the headwaters of 
the Whareatea will not be so productive as estimated. 

The Mount Eochfort area is a doubtful one, and probably does not contain 
coal workable under present condtions. 

The extent of the proved coal in the lower Waimangaroa area is very small indeed, 
and the estimate given is at best one of possible coal. 

Estimates of Present Survey. 

In 1911, before much field-work had been done,, one of the present writers estimated 
that the total amount of proved bituminous coal in the Buller-Mokihinui district was 
221,000,000 tons, so that, including mined coal, the quantity originally present was 
231,000,000 tons.* Hector's 214,000,000 tons was accepted as the basis for this 
estimate, which was supposed to include all coal contained in seams over 1 ft. thick. 

Under present New Zealand conditions coal-seams in small blocks or under 4 ft. 
in average thickness, especially if faulted or otherwise irregular, cannot be profitably 
mined, and therefore may be discarded in making any estimate of workable coal. The 
reader, however, is not to suppose that the estimates presently to be given represent 
workable or extractable coal unless this is specifically stated. 

Notwithstanding the numerous outcrops of bituminous coal between Mount Rochfort 
and the Mokihinui Eiver, the area and thickness of workable coal cannot be exactly 
defined, partly on account of the irregular boundaries, but much more on account of the 
lenticular nature of the coal-seams, and the manner in which coal is replaced by shale 
in some localities. In the following table the areas may be regarded as approximately 
correct, and the estimates of average thickness as conservative — that is, they are 
probably somewhat under the mark. The probable drift origin of the coal-deposits, 
their lenticular nature, and the occurrence of dirt bands in the coal of several districts, 
are all facts that compel caution in estimating the average thickness and area. The 
coal already extracted is included in the tonnages. 

Appeoximate Estimate 




in Acres. 



of Coal, 

in Feet. 

Proved or 

Highly Probable 

Coal, in Tons. 


Ridgo south-west of lower Chasm 

Cardiff lline aorth of Chasm Creek 

Seddonville State Colliery, north of 

Chasm Creek 
Mokihinui Mines 

South of Chasm Creek in Mokihi- 
nui Survey District 

Charminf? Creek valley in Ngaka- 
wau Survey District 

Outlying areas 






f 30 

1 130 










I 2,040,000 

Not workable at a profit. 

Area partly worked and abandoned. 

Coal on fire. 
Area worked and abandoned. 

Area partly worked and then aban- 
doned. Some coal destroyed ■ by 

Small areas worked. Coal proved by 
boring and outcrops. 

Proved by boring. 

Partly worked and abandoned. 

Totals for Seddonvillo-Mokihi- 
nui district 




Possible area and tonnage consider- 
ably greater. 

* p. G. Morgan : "The Coal Resources of New Zealand " in " The Coal Resouncs of the W'oiki," Toronto, 
1913, vol. i, p. 81. See also Proc. Aust. Inst, of M.E., No. 9 (Now Series), 1913. p, 19. 


Approximate Estimate oi Proved and Highly Probable Co Ai^—continued. 


in Acres. 



of Coal, 

in Feet. 

Proved or 

Higlily Probable 

Coal, in Tons. 


Mangatini seam, mainly in West- 
port and Westport - Stockton 

j 2,200 
1 480 



[ Areas being actively worked on a 
I large scale. 

Matipo seam, mainly in Westpoi t- 

( 300 
1 680 



Now being worked. 

Stockton lease 



Probable rather than proved. 

Outlying areas 




Partly worked (Albion, &c.). 

Totals for Mangatini and ad- 




Contains more than half tlie proA'ed 

joining districts 

coal. Some probable coal may be 
added to estimate. 

Mount Frederick outlier 




Good coal. 

Mount WiUiara outlier . . 




Amount may be increased by includ- 
ing dirty coal. 

Waimangaroa Valley, from Webb 




Much of this coal is probable rather 

Creek to Kiwi Compressor (mainly 

than proved. 

in "Cook's" or " Westenra's " 


Kiwi comjiressor to Burnett's Face 




Conservative estimate. Coal in split 
not included, no data being available. 

Coalbrookdale, Upper Cascade 




Coal in split not included. This and 

Creek, and Whareatea 

last area are being actively worked 
on a large scale. 

Upper Deep Creek watershed 




Coal probable rather than proved. 

Old Koranui lease, &c. 




Partly worked and abandoned. 

South of Waimangaroa Gorge (Ban- 




Area worked. 

bury Mine) 

Outlying areas 




Partly worked and abandoned. 

Totals for Waimangaroa Val- 




Some coal in splits and some probable 

ley, &c. 

coal may be added. 





Coal in splits, minor workable 


Rough estimate or guess. 

seams, &c. 

Grand total, excluding Black- 




A moderate amount of probable coal 

burn area 

may be added. 

Blackburn district 




Rough estimate. The area is prac- 
tically unexplored. Boring may 
prove much additional coal. 

To the total of approximately 123,000,000 tons of proved coal may be added 
the coal in outlying patches east of the Mount William Range, that in various thin 
seams, such as the upper seam in the Seddonville district, and that contained in the 
margins of the larger seams where these thin to less than 4 ft. ; but none of this coal 
can be regarded as workable at the present time. Owing to the average thickness of 
the main seams having been estimated on a conservative basis, believed to be on the 
safe side, 5 to 10 per cent, may be added to most of the tabulated quantities as 
probable. Other probable coal may be proved by boring in the Mokihinui district, in 
the neighbourhood of Kiwi fault, on the flats near Waimangaroa, in the Blackbiu'n 
district, and elsewhere. It is, -however, not feasible to make any estimates of probable 
or possible coal in these localities. 

Extractahle Bituminous Coal. 
Where the seam worked is not too thick and the coal is of good quality, the 
percentage of extraction is fairly high. Data for the larger mines of the Westport 


district are not yet available, owiiii; to the unknown amount of coal standing in pillars ; 
but it may be assumed that the extraction will not exceed 50 per cent., for much coal 
cannot be won where the seam is thick, a large proportion of the " soft " or friable 
coal is left unworked, and some coal is lost through mine-fires. Some of the smaller 
mines, especially in the Mokihinui district, have given very poor results. Thus the 
Seddonville State Colliery appears to have extracted not more than one-third of tjie 
coal in the area commanded by mine-development, and the Caidilf Mine less than 
one-fourth. The Mokihinui Mine has an even poorer record. 

Since the best portions of the Buller coalfield are now being worked on a large 
scale, and therefore being exhausted at a rapid rate, it follows that the next generation 
of miners will have to work the less-accessible and generally poorer portions of the 
field. They will, tlierefore, have great difficulty in obtaining a sufficient return for 
their labour and capital ; and under such conditions there will be little inducement 
to work the mines so as to obtain a high percentage of coal-extraction. Hence, the 
writers conclude tiiat until tlie market-price of the coal materially increases not more 
than 60,000,000 tons out of the 123,000,000 proved tons* can be considered workable. 
But of this 60,000,000 tons, 13,000,000 tons had been mined at the end of 1914-, and 
hence the certainly extractable or workable coal reduced to 47,000,000 tons or less. 
On this basis the life of the bituminous coalfield becomes short indeed compared with 
that of coalfields in many other parts of the world. On the otlier hand, further 
supplies of coal will bo proved in the Blackburn district and perhaps elsewhere ; but 
it is the duty of the writers to point out that there is little warrant for supposing 
that the future holds more than modest possibilities. That impleasant thing to the 
consumer, an increase in the selling-price of the coal, appears inevitable, but this may 
have the good effect of enabling a greater proportion of the coal to be mined. 

II. BrOwn Coal and Lignite. 

The brown coal or lignite of the Charleston district is shown by outcrops to exist 
over areas totalling several hundred acres, where it has a thickness' of from 4 ft. to 
over 20 ft. Thus there are probably some millions of tons of coal in the neighbour- 
hood of Charleston alone. Though lignite almost certainly has a considej-able develop- 
ment under the limestone to the east, and also northward towards Tauranga Bay, no 
further estimate of quantity can well be made. In the same way it would be idle 
to speculate as to the amount of brown coal in those portions of the Inangahua 
coalfield extending into the south-east part of Orikaka Survey District and the eastern 
part of Ohika Survey District. Probably the quantity of coal in each localit\- is 
considerable, but the difficulties of access and transport will prevent any attempt to 
work the coal for many years to come. 


From time to time numerous bores have been drilled in various pai'ts of the 
Westport district in search of coal. The first of these was an unsuccessful bore 
mentioned by Hector in 1867 as drilled " at the westei'n limit of the plateau. '"f 
Between Millerton and Darlington several bores were drilled many years ago, two or 
three of which are reported to have passed through coal from 3 ft. to 5 ft. thick. .V 
map of the Westport-Cardiff Colliery lease (Seddonville), published in 1901, shows the 
position of twelve boreholes. Six of these in the " Cave area " penetrated from 
3 ft. to 17.Ht. of coal, and the average thickness shown was nearly 12 ft. In later 

* The Blackburn coal, being as yet practically unproved, is excluded from thi.s discussion. 
t " Abstract Report on the Progress of the GcologicalSurvey of Now Zealand duriny; 186G-G7." 18(i7,]). 
See also G.S. Hop. No. 4, 1868, p. 2;{. 


years the Mines Department made additional borings in the " Cave area " and also 
near Seddonville. Six holes were also drilled by hand on the south side of Chasm 
Creek near the Bridge section of the State colliery. One of these passed through 
7|-ft. of coal, but the others, according to the logs, reached the basal granite without 
finding coal. During the years 1910-12 no less than sixteen borings were made in 
Charming Creek valley and the area immediately to the north. Of these bores 
Nos. 1, 2, 5, and 7 were drilled by hand, the remainder by diamond drill. The 
results obtained are summarized on pages 148-49. 

According to Hector a bore at Mokihinui Mine (Coal Creek) in 1887 intersected 
the following beds below the main seam : Clay, 1^ ft. ; coal, 3 ft.' ; grit, 18 ft. ; coal, 
7J ft. ; clay ; thus showing the presence of a second workable seam.* 

The borings made on the Westport-Stockton lease during the past few years are 
briefly described on page 160. The two bores shown on the maps in West Creek 
valley near the Buller were probably drilled by the Aorangi Consolidated Company, 
which at one time held a lease of 1,198 acres in that locality.f 

The advisability of boring the Westport flats for coal has been mooted for nearly 
half a century. A few years ago the Westport Coal Company drilled two holes on 
the western side of the railway between Sergeant's Hill and Fairdown. The bore near 
Fairdown was begun in July, 1907, and had reached a depth of 1,742 ft. when the 
rods broke and drilling was abandoned. That near Fairdown, begun in August, 1908, 
was drilled to a depth of 2,500 ft. when the rods once more broke and work was 
discontinued. J After passing through the surface gravels these bores entered Upper 
Oamaru claystone and sandstone, with occasional calcareous bands. So far as can 
be learnt, neither bore passed out of the Miocene rocks, and therefore it is evident 
that in this locality the bituminous coal-measures are very deep. 

Some years ago two shallow bores were drilled and a small shaft was sunk by 
Mr. F. F. Munro near Tauranga Bay in Miocene strata. These penetrated the lignite 
that outcrops not far away, but otherwise yielded no information of moment. 

In 1912 the- Westport Harbour Board drilled a hole near Wilson's Lead Road 
(Addison's Flat) to a depth of 825 ft. in Upper Oamaru strata. Owing to difficulties 
caused by calcareous concretions (repoii^ed as " boulders ") and caving ground, the bore 
was then abandoned. The site was well chosen for the object in view, and had the 
bore been carried to a depth of 2,500 ft. or 3,000 ft. some valuable information would 
probably have been obtained. From a section (with notes) made by the driller in 
charge (Mr. W. Carter), and kindly lent by the Westport Harbour, Board, the following 
particulars have been obtained : At 14 ft. alluvial wash (Pleistocene marine gravel and 
sand) ends; at 70 ft., 1ft. 3 in. hard band; at 150-170 ft., a series of hard bands; 
at 195 ft. and 222 ft. are 1 ft. 3 in. and 1 ft. 6 in. " felstone " bands ; at 287 ft., 6 in. 
deposit of shells; at 304 ft., 6 in. of lignite; at 331ft., 6 ft. "felstone band"; at 
452 ft., 600 ft., 625 ft., 668 ft. 4 in., 690 ft., 750 ft., and 810 ft., "boulders"; at 
590 ft., crushing took place; at 610 ft., flow of water and sand; at 690-750 ft., 
swelling ground ; at 750-800 ft., moving boulders and debris, with strong flow of water. 

The hard " elstone " bands of this record are presumably concretionary calcareous 
bands, similar in nature to the " boulders." The bore was cased with 6 in. lining-tubes 
to 150 ft., and with 4 in. collar-jointed tubes to 612 ft. All the casing was withdrawn 
when the bore was abandoned. 

It is evident that this bore was not started with a diameter large enough to enable 
a deep hole to be drilled. 

* " On the Mokihinui Coalfield." Rep. G.S. during 1886-87, No. 18, 1887, p. 160. 
t See map of Buller coalfield in Miaes Report, 1907, opposite p. 12 of C.-3a. 
J Information supplied by Westport Coal Company. 


Towards the end of 1913 a second bore with an initial diameter of 8 iu. was 
started by the Harbour Board near the coast at a point somewhat over a mile north- 
west of Waimangaroa Junction Railway-station. This locality had been recommended 
by one o the writers as suitable for a trial bore.* Difficulty was experienced in 
driving the casing through the loose sand and fine shingle that formed the surface strata. 
At a depth ol somewhat over 80 ft. trouble was caused by a boulder or boulders, 
probably resting on the Miocene bedrock. At this stage the foundation for the plant 
was ound to be inefficient, and another bore with a diameter of 10 in. was started 
about 200 yards nearer the railway-station. Here loose drift was penetrated for 60 ft., 
when a large boulder which stopped the 10 in. casing was encountered. The bore was 
continued with 8 in. casing, but this being deflected by the boulder at 60 ft., and 
another boulder being strruck at 80 ft., the bore was abandoned. 

In 1914, according to a newspaper report, the Harbour Board began drilling near 
Tauranga Bay, but no further record has been seen by the writers. The locality is 
not one that can be recommended. 


Owing to the numerous outcrops of coal-bearing strata the greater part of the 
BuUer coalfield has been prospected by surface explorations, such as trenching, the 
driving of short adits, &c. Owing to the prevalence of splits from the main seams, 
and the rapidity with which a thin seam occasionally thickens, various apparently 
barren areas or strata may deserve to be tested by boring before being finally con- 
demned. Among such localities may be mentioned the ground on both sides of Kiwi 
fault, near " Cook's " or " Westenra's " lease. Though much of the area in the 
eastern part of the Westport-Stockton lease lately found to be coal-bearing was 
mapped by Denniston as barren, yet outcrops indicate its coal-bearing character 
(see pages 157-61), and therefore this ground does not fall into the above category. 
Denniston evidently was misled through failing to note the remarkable split of the 
Mangatini and Matipo seams. 

Among the areas that require boring are " Cook's lease," together with part of 
the ground to the north-west and north of Seddonville Flat, the country east of Moki- 
hinui Mine (Maori reserve, &c.), and in particular the Blacljburn district. Notwith- 
standing its remoteness and the difficulty of access, the Blackburn area may be 
recommended as offering the best chances of a new coalfield in the Westport district. 

Westport Flats. — One of the writersf has already reported on the question of boring 
the Westport flats, and much of what was then written need not be repeated here. 
Undoubtedly in the somewhat near future the depletion of the known coal resources 
will compel the systematic boring of this conveniently situated area in order to 
ascertain its coal-contents. 

It is necessary to state that, except on the inner margin of the coastal plain in 
the Lower Buller or Kongahu fault - zone, the coal will everywhere be deep, and 
probably in few places much less than 3,000 ft. below the surface. There is, howevei', 
one geological factor that tends to reduce the distance to be drilled, and that is the 
unconformity between the Eocene coal-measures and the Miocene rocks that form their 
cover throughout the coastal region. This may lessen the depth to coal in two ways 
— first, through pre-Miocene erosion of the coal-measures ; and, second, through overlap 
of the Miocene rocks upon the Eocene strata, such as probably has taken place at 

* P. G. Morgan : " The Coal Possibilities of the Westport Flats." N.Z.G.S. Seventh Ann. Rep., C.-2, 
1913, pp. 124r-26. 

t P. G. Morgan, op. cit. 


Waimangaroa, and again near Mokihinui, as seen in the Brewery Creek section. On 
the other hand, the pre-Miocene erosion may have gone so far as to remove the 
coal-seams. Whether, for example, this has occurred at Cape Foulwind, or whether 
the Eocene coal-measures were never deposited in that locality, cannot be determined 
with our present knowledge, but in either case boring in the immediate neighbour- 
hood will be useless unless an unusual combination of favourable conditions happens to 

Coal may reasonably be expected to exist beneath the Waimangaroa flats, and will 
probably extend southward as far as or beyond Addison's, and northward beyond 
Birchfield. In the last-named locality the conditions for bituminous coal at moderate 
depth are perhaps more favourable than elsewhere. Those interested, however, must 
be warned not to expect too much from any locality. The lenticularity of all New 
Zealand coal-seams, the prevalence of faults and other troubles, the known absence of 
Eocene strata from the Cape Foulwind and Charleston districts, and the great depth 
to which boreholes must be carried, all combine to render the exploration of the West- 
port flats a difficult and expensive operation, not to be lightly or casually undertaken. 
It need hardly be said that adequate capital, first-class boring plants, and experienced 
drillers must all be obtained before the search for coal can be undertaken with any 
real hope of success. In the opinion of the writers the best sites for trial bores are 
towards the coast-line near Birchfield, Waimangaroa, and Fairdown, and about half-waj' 
between Cape Foulwind and the bituminous coal-outcrop on Moran's water-race. In 
a report written during 1900 McKay* apparently discourages a proposal to bore near 
Waimangaroa, on the ground that the coal will be excessively deep ; but this objection 
probably applies to the whole coastal plain. He recommends a bore at or near the 
mouth of the Ngakawau, and in a later reportf dated 23rd August, 1912, favours bores 
near Cape Foulwind also. Though coal may well be found at moderate depth near 
the Ngakawau River mouth, yet the rocks here are involved in the Lower Buller fault, 
and consequently the same objection applies as at Waimangaroa Village and other 
localities near the foot of the ranges — that is, any coal found will be broken and stand- 
ing at high angles. As already pointed out, bores near Cape Foulwind are not likely 
to be successful, since there the bituminous coal-measures either never existed or have 
been removed by erosion. Only by the greatest good fortune will the result justify 
any boring done within two miles of the coast in this part of the district. Similar 
conditions, it may be added, exist farther south at Charleston and Brighton. 

Brown Coal and Lignite Areas. — Probably, as already stated, and as may be inferred 
from the general geology of the district, lignitic coal, similar to that of the Charleston 
and Tauranga Bay areas, has considerable development beneath other parts of the 
coastal region, and can therefore be proved by boring. Owing to the inferior quality 
of the known Miocene coal near the coast, expense in this direction is not warranted 
at the present time. In the future the lignite will doubtless be followed from the 
outcrops into deeper ground, whilst the boring of the Westport flats for bituminous coal 
will probably afford important data with respect to lignite also. 

The brown coals of the Blackwater Vallej'', Pensini Creek, &c., are of much better 
quality than the coastal lignite. They belong to the important Inangahua field, which 
in the not far distant future will probably be extensively developed. At the present 
time the portions of this coalfield within the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision do not call 
for prospecting. 


■ "Report on the Prospect of Coal at Waimangaroa Railway-station, Westport." C.-IO, 1901, pp. 2, 
f Printed by the Westport Harbour Board as a leaflet. 


Water-resources . 

Thanks to the abundant rainfall, there is no scarcity of running water in the 
Buller-Mokihinui district. Some of the upland streams, however, notably Mine Greek, 
are polluted by acid water from the mines or from areas where the coal is on fire, and 
by drainage from the mining townships. For this reason Millerton, Mine Creek, 
and Burnett's Face in dry weather suffer from a lack of water suitable for household 
purposes. Denniston, being almost on the top of a hill, is also without a permanent 
water-supply. Owing to the rapid run-off from the bare upland surfaces, the small 
streams and rills soon lose most or all of their water in fine weather. Thus not only 
at Denniston, but also at Coalbrookdale, Millerton, and elsewhere, dams are necessary in 
order to conserve water for steam and other industrial purposes. 

An abundant supply of water is necessary in connection with alluvial gold-mining, 
and hence the numerous dams mentioned on an earlier page as constructed in the 
coastal region near Westport, Addison's Flat, Charleston, &c. Large and permanent 
supplies of water under a sufficient head for hydraulic sluicing can be obtained, but only 
at a cost that in most cases seems prohibitive. 

Notwithstanding its mountainous character, the subdivision does not present 
more than moderate water-power possibilities. There are, however, many small streams 
that could each be made to furnish a limited amount of energy, if there were any 
demand for such. Formerly water-wheels were used to a considerable extent in the 
cement-batteries at Bradshaw's, Addison's, and Charleston, and one or two of these are 
still in commission. 

Among the medium-sized streams, the Ngakawau and the Waimangaroa offer some 
possibilities in close proximity to mining districts and centres of population. The 
former stream, in passing through the three miles and a half of gorge between St. 
Andrew Stream and Charming Creek, falls over 500 ft., and since the ordinary dry 
weather flow at the upper end of the gorge is fully 100 heads, several thousand 
horse-power could be developed. In a distance of three miles below its junction with 
Burnett Creek, the Waimangaroa falls over 800 ft., mainly in the first mile. This stream, 
however, is normally much smaller than the Ngakawau, and has a low minimum flow, 
owing to much of its watershed being unforested upland, with little soil and scanty 
vegetation. The latter objection applies also to the Whareatea River, Mangatini Creek, 
Mine Creek, and other streams draining the, bituminous coal district and exhibiting 
falls at some ])art of their courses. 

If the Westport flats should ever be successfully developed as a coalfield, consider- 
able value will be given to the water-power derivable from the Waimangaroa and 
Wliareatea rivers. Similarly the water-power obtainable at the Ngakawau gorge and 
from streams draining the Glasgow Range is a potential asset in connection with the 
development of tiie Blackburn field. 

Summary of Economic Cteologv. 

The auriferous quartz veins of the Westport district are not of great importance. 
The only locality witliin the . Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision where such veins have been 
worked is near Waimangaroa, but the Mokihinui and Lyell fields are near its borders. 

The auriferous alluvial deposits of Charleston, Addison's, and other districts were at 
one time famous tiirougiu)ut New Zealand. Though now largely exhausted, they still 
offer modest possibilities to the minor. The occurrence of platinum, stream-tin, raona- 
zite, and other substances in the alluvia of the subdivision is of scientific ratlior than 
economic interest. 


Various other minerals, such as barite, mica, potash-feldspar, and iron-ores are 
not known to occur in commercially workable deposits, but in some cases there are 
doubtless possibilities that cannot be foreseen at the present time. 

The building-stones, limestones, and clays of the subdivision wUl become of great 
value at some future time. The manufacture of cement from the limestone and clay 
near Cape Foulwind is apparently a feasible proposition. 

The subdivision's great mineral asset is its magnificent bituminous coal, • which 
for a number of years has been actively mined on a large scale. The total amount 
of proved coal originally in the ground is estimated at 123,000,000 tons, of which about 
half, or 60,000,000 tons may be considered extractable under present conditions, but of this 
13,000,000 tons has already been mined, leaving only 47,000,000 tons as minable. To 
the proved coal may be added a considerable amount of probable coal, and coal that 
may possibly be proved by boring to exist under the Westport flats and elsewhere. 
The whole situation, however, calls for the serious consideration of all interested in 
seeing that the far from inexhaustible coal-resources of . New Zealand are properly 
husbanded and utilized to the best advantage. 

In addition to the bituminous coal there are considerable quantities of brown and 
lignitic coal. The full extent of the areas containing these fuels is not known at the 
present time. 






Actinolite : Found chiefly in aggregates resembling " eyes " in some schists and 
hornfels in the Mokihinui Valley. Occasionally present as a derivative from pleochroic 
green hornblende in some of the intermediate igneous rocks. (See page 103.) 

Alum : In the " Handbook of New Zealand Mines," 1887, p. 221, alum - shale 
is recorded at Mokihinui. A little alum has been formed with the aid of steam 
and other gases emitted from the burning coal of the old Mokihinui Mine. Incrusta- 
tions containing alum occur under an overhanging cliff near Kiwi Compressor, east 
of Burnett's Face. A sample taken in 1912 contained approximately 8-5 per cent, 
of potash-alum. 

Amphibole : See Hornblende. 

Andesine : Common in the intermediate igneous rocks of the district. 

Anorthoclase : A cryptoperthitic feldspar present in some granites and quartz- 
porphyries is probably anorthoclase. 

Antimony-ore : See Stibnite. 

Apatite : Occurs in small amount in the igneous rocks. In the diorites it is 
sometimes an important accessory mineral. 

Arsenopyrite : A pyritiferous rock containing a little arsenopyrite (arsenical pyrites) 
was forwarded to the Colonial Laboratory from Mount Rochfort in 1877 (Lab. Rep. 
No. 13, 1878, p. 24). 

Augite : This mineral, partly altered to uralite, is present in a dolerite found 
in stream-gravels near the new Karamea-Mokihinui Road, and a highly titaniferous 
variety is the most important constituent of the Blackwater River camptonites. (See 
Chapter V.) 

Barite : Reported to occur at Cascade Creek (Mines Report, 1887, p. 136) ; found 
in small veins in coal-measure grits south-east of MUlerton, and in quartz-porphyry 
at Coalbrookdale (see page 123). Dr. Gaze reporta a mixture of barium and calcium- 
sulphates — " dreelite " — from Cascade Creek (" An Introduction to Analytical Pyrology," 
1888, pp. 31-32). 

Barkevikite (Barkevieite) : See Hornblende. 

Biotite : A common constituent of the igneous rocks, hornfels, schist, &c. 

Bismuth : Sydney Fry {fide Kenneth Ross) discovered a fragment of bismuth 
dotted with gold in gravels (sluice-box concentrates), Waimangaroa district {Mines 
Record, vol. 10, 1906-7, p. 12). 

Black sand : See Magnetite, Ilmenite. 

Bog-iron ore : See Iron-ochre. 

Calcite : Tlie essential constituent of tltfe various limestones, and forms a propor- 
tion of the other calcareous rocks. Small veins occur in Kaiata nuidstone, gneiss, 
granite, &c., in several localities. 

Cassiterite : Material containing 54 per cent, of tin is reported from the Bullcr 
district (Lab. No. 21, 1886, p. 46, and Handbook of N.Z. Mines, 1887, p. 221), 


but the exact locality is not stated. Stream-tin has been reported from the foot 
of the Mount William Range, the discovery being attributed to Dr. Gaze and Mr. 
J. F. Clarke (Handbook of N.Z. Mines, 1887, p. 221). Dr. Gaze himself mentions 
the presence of stream- tin at Cedar Creek and Mokihinui {op. cit., p. 46). These 
localities, especially the latter, are doubtful ; but the mineral certainh' occurs in the 
Mackley Valley (see page 122). Sydney Fry found stream-tin in sluice-box concentrates 
at Waimangaroa (Kenneth Eoss, op. cit., p. 12), and McKay reports it as found with 
gold in the Upper Waimangaroa Valley (" Gold-deposits of New Zealand," 1903 (reprint), 
p. 24). 

Chalcopyrite : The Handbook of N.Z. Mines, 1887, states (p. 221) that loose 
pieces of copper-ore were found at Nine-mile Hill, ten miles from Westport, and 
also that a cupriferous reef was discovered " up the Buller Road fourteen miles from 

Chlorite : A common secondary mineral in almost all the igneous rocks. 
Small bands of chlorite-b earing schist outcrop in several branches of the Orowaiti River 
(Giles Creek). Penninite is the only variety noted. A green foliated mineral occurring 
in the schists of the Mokihinui district may be clinochlore. A chloritic mineral occurs with 
quartz in the Beaconsfield lode, Waimangaroa Gorge. 

Chromite : Occurs as water-worn grains in sluicing concentrates from Fairdown 
Terraces, and is doubtless present at Bradshaw's, Addison's, &c. (See analyses quoted 
on pages 115-17.) 

Clay : Not strictly a mineral. (See pages 128-30, and Kaolin.) 

Clinochlore : See Chlorite. 

Coal : Not strictly a mineral. Bituminous coal, glance or pitch coal, brown 
coal, and lignite all occur in the subdivision. (See Chapter VI, and Jet.) 

Coke, Natural or Native (Carbonite) : Seddonville. (See page 171.) 

Copper-pyrites : See Chalcopyrite. 

Cordierite : See lolite. 

Cryptoperthite : See Anorthoclase. 

Dreelite : See Barite. 

Epidote : Occurs in some diorites and gneisses ; for example, in the gneissic diorite 
of West Creek, near the Nine-mile Ferry, Buller River, more or less idiomorphio 
epidote is plentiful. 

Galena : McKay states (" Gold-deposits of New Zealand," 1903, p. 27) that a 
galena- bearing reef has been discovered in Cascade Creek valley. This is probably 
the same lode as that mentioned by Cox (Rep. G.S. during 1874-76, No. 9, 1877, 
p. 28) as containing " principally an alloy of antimony and lead, sulphur occurring 
in it only in small quantities." In 1910 three samples of galena-bearing material, 
forwarded by W. C. Ancell from the Buller district, on being assayed by the 
Dominion Laboratory (Lab. Rep. No. 44, 1911, p. 17) were found to contain 8-92, 17-77, 
and 21-45 per cent, of lead respectively. These samples, however, may not have come 
from the subdivision, no definite locality being stated. 

Garnet : Present, but not abundant, in many gneissic and pegmatitic rocks. In 
the auriferous beach sands of the coast-line garnets are plentiful. The mineral is a 
constituent of the pegmatite dyke worked for mica at Charleston, of pegmatite in 
Pensini Creek &c. Recorded from the vicinitj'- of Charleston in Lab. Rep. No. 20, 
1886, p. 43, and Lab. Rep. No. 29, 1895, p. 12. 

Gas, Natural (Methane. &c.) : F redamp in some quantity was evolved in the 
workings of the old Wellington Mine, and in August, 1880, there was a severe explosion 
(Mines Report H.-12, 1881, p. 13). Young and Haylock's mine may also have been 


fiery. In other mines firedamp has been found, if at all, only in small amount — 
e.g., at Millerton. 

Gold : In quartz-veins at Stony Creek, Waimangaroa Grorge, Mokihinui Reefs 
(outside subdivision), New Creek, &c. (see Chapter VI). For the numerous alluvial 
occurrences see Chapter VI, pp. 112-22. 

Graphite : According to Skey a sandstone from the Waimangaroa River contains 
graphite in non-commercial amount (Lab. Rep. No. 14, 1879, p. 28). 

Hornblende : A constituent of the dioritic rocks. The biown amphibole in 
camptonitic rocks from the Blackwater River watershed appears to be barkevikite. 

limenite : Occurs in considerable amount in the beach (black-sand) deposits, ancient 
and modern, in river sands and gravels, &c. Some of the diorites contain a few 
crystals of the mineral. 

lolite (Cordierite) : Schistose rocks and hornfels from the Mokihinui and other 
districts show white spots consisting of a spongy or granular mineral resembling 
quartz. This may be iolite, but no precise determination has yet been made. 

Iron-ochre : Small deposits of hydrated ferric oxide due to springs are common. A 
mass of iron-oxide mentioned by McKay as occurring at the " cave " outcrop, Chasm 
Creek, was evidently of this nature. (See G.S. Rep. during 1890-91, vol. 21, 1892, 
p. 85.) Hydrated oxide of iron is the cementing material of the " hard-pan " beneath 
the pakihis, of the auriferous " cement," &c. 
Iron-pyrites : See Pyrite. 
Ironsand : See Magnetite, limenite. 

Jet : The occurrence of small masses of a jet-like mineral in the Denniston coal 
has l)een reported by Sydney Fry (Mines Report, C.-3, 1906, p. 30, and personal 
communication), who quotes the following analysis : Fixed carbon, 27-8 ; volatile hydro- 
carbons, 69-8 ; water, 0-8 ; ash, 1'6. Thus the material is apparently a variety of cannel 
coal. It has, however, the physical characters of jet. 

Kaolin : Has been found in a comparatively pure state filling cracks in the 
Denniston coal (Sydney Fry in Mines Report, C.-3, 1904, p. 27). 

Labradorite : A common constituent of the intermediate and basic igneous rocks. 
Leucoxene : A somewhat rare alteration product of the titaniferous iion-ore of some 
igneous rocks. 

Limonite : Common as rusty stains, &c. (See also Irou-oclire, &c.) 
Lollingite : Occurs at the Victory Mine, New Creek. (See pp. 110-11.) 
Magnetite : Occurs in scattered crystals in the diorites and lamprophyres, and is 
abundant in the ironsands of the modern and raised sea-beaches. Here it is usually 
titaniferous, and, in fact, much of the black sand is ilmenite. Occasionally ironsand is 
mistaken for tin-ore — see, for example, Lab. Rep. No. 20, 1886, p. 44, where Skey 
repoi'ts being unable to find tin in black-sand from the vicinity of Westport, which had 
been alleged to contain that metal in large proportion. 

Manganese-ore: Reported from the Duller River [valley | in the Handbook of 
N.Z. Mines, 1887, p. 221, but the exact locality is not stated. (See also Rhodonite.) 

Marcasite : This form of iron-bisulphide is probably fairly abundant in the coal- 
measurcis (see also Pyrite). 

Mercury, Native : Many years ago metallic mercury was reported from a water 
course near Westport at a place well removed from any gold-workings. Most probably, 
however, it had escaped from some gold-saving appliance, or had been accidentally 
spilt by some miner. (See Lab. Rep. No. 9, 1874, p. 23.) 
Mica : See Biotite, Muscovite. 

Microcline : A very common feldspar in the granite and associated acid igneous 
rocks of the subdivision. 
IS — Buller-Mokihinui. 


Monazite : In 1905 Sydney Fry announced the probable presence of this mineral 
in concentrates from Bradshaw's Terrace. This determination was confirmed by the 
Colonial (Dominion) Laboratory, which found 2 per cent, of rare earths (mainly ceria 
with some thoria) and phosphoric acid in similar concentrates (Lab. Rep. No. 40, 1907, 
p. 25). The presence of rare earths has also been detected by the Dominion Laboratory 
in samples of concentrates from Dennehy's claim, Bull's (see page 116) ; from McCann's 
and the Shamrock sluicing claims; Addison's (see page 115); and from the head of 
Cedar Creek, Mount William Range. Sydney Fry also found minute quantities of 
monazite in gravels south of the Whareatea (Kenneth Ross, of. cit., p. 12). 

Muscovite : A constituent of most of the igneous rocks, and of the schists, horn- 
fels, &c. Some pegmatite veins, as at Charleston, contain large plates of the mineral. 
(See also pages 124-25.) 

Oligoclase : Common in the granites, quartz-porphyries, and other acid-igneous 

Olivine : Has been noted in the lamprophyres of the Blackwater River valley. 

Orthoclase : A prominent constitutent of the granites, gneissic rocks, and quartz- 

Osmiridium : H. A. Gordon reports that osmiridium, associated with alluvial gold, 
has been found near the mouth of the Mokihinui River (Mines Report, C.-5, 1888, 
p. 36 ; " Miners' Guide," second edition, 1906, p. 15). The alloy may also occiu" in the 
Whareatea River gravels {Mines Record, vol. iv, 1900-1, p. 161). 

Penninite : See Chlorite. 

Platinum : In 1904 Sydney Fry found platinum in gold bullion from the Rochfort 
Hydraulic Sluicing Claim (Mines Report, C.-3, 1904, p. 27). He also determined the 
metal in concentrates from Christmas Terrace (Fairdown), German Creek [German Gully], 
the " back lead near the beach," and Bradshaw's Terrace (Kenneth Ross ojo. cit., p. 12). 
The Dominion Laboratory has identified platinum in sand from German Terrace, for- 
warded by A. D. Bayfeild (Lab. Rep. No. 42, 1909, p. 31) and in concentrates from 
Fairdown (see p. 117). 

Proustite : Determined by Sydney Fry in sluicing concentrates from Waimangaroa 
{Kenneth Ross, op. cit., p. 12). 

Pyrite (Iron-pyrites) : The diorites of the subdivision usually contain a few crystals, 
and the granites, gneig'ses, and other rocks are occasionally locally pyritized. In the 
bituminous coal-seams iron - bisulphide is locally abundant, sometimes forming large 
irregular concretionary masses, similar to those seen in the Point Elizabeth State Col- 
liery (see N.Z.G.S. Bull. No. 13, 1911, p. 114). Pyritic concretions are not uncommon 
in the shale (Deep Creek, Cascade Creek) and sandstone (near Mine Creek) of the 
Brunner beds, and in the lower horizons of the Kaiata beds (Chasm Creek, &c.). 
The concretionary material may well be marcasite in whole or more probably in part. 

Quartz : Common everywhere. Numerous veins occur in the argiUites and grey- 
wackes of the Waimangaroa, Mokihinm, and other districts. 

Rare Earths (Thoria, Ceria, &c.) : See Monazite, and Chapter VI, pp. 115-17, 123. 

Retinite (Mineral Resin) : Common in the lignites of the Charleston district and 
Tauranga Bay ; in the brown coal of Pensini Creek, &c. Occurs more or less com- 
monly in the Seddonville and Mokihinui coal, and much more rarely in the Coalbrook- 
dale coal. (See also Chapter VI.) 

Rhodonite : Found by Sydney Fry in gravels south of the Whareatea (Kenneth 
Ross, oj). cit., p. 12). 

Rutile : Very fine needles of rutile are plentiful in the quartz of the Mokihinui 
granites. Similar needles may be frequently observed in the biotite and less commonly 
in the hornblende occuring as rock-constituents. 


Sericite : A common decomposition product of feldspar. Occurs also as small flakes 
in hornfels. 

Serpentine : Found only in sma 11 quantities as an occasional alteration product of 
some minerals in the igneous rocks. The iron-rich variety iddingsite (or bowlingite*) 
represents the original olivine in some of the Blackwater River lamprophyres. 

Spathic iron-ore (Siderite) : Samples of spathic iron-ore from the vicinity of 
Westport were analyzed by Skey in 1873 (Lab. Rep. No. 9, 1874, pp. 22-3). Lab. 
Rep. No. 22, 1887, p. 48, gives analysis of a sample from Mokihinui collected by McKay, 
and Lab. Rep. No. 35, 1902, p. 12, of another sample " from Westport." The various 
analyses show mixtures of lime, iron, and magnesium carbonates, containing only from 
12 to 15 per cent, of iron. 

Sphene : See Titanite. 

Spinel : Magnesian spinel has been identified by Skey in a " wash " from 
Westport, forwarded by Dr. Gaze (Lab. Rep. No. 29, 1895, p. 12). 

Stibnite (Antimonite) : Recorded from Westport district by Skey (Lab. Rep. No. 11, 
1876, p. 18) and Cox (see under Galena). Skey mentions previous samples from the 
same district. The mineral has also been reported from the Buller River (Lab. Rep. 
No. 17, 1882, p. 35), but the exact locality is not known. 

Stream-tin : See Cassiterite. 

Sulphur : Forms as a product of the decomposition of pyrite and other sulphur- 
bearing compounds in the coal-seams, and was especially observed as deposited round 
steam-vents above the burning Mokihinui coal. In this connection it should be noted 
that some (if not all) of the coals of the district on being heated emit sulphuretted 
hydrogen,-}- which when acted on by steam forms free sulphur. 

Talc : Present in some igneous rocks, where it represents an alteration product of 
olivine or hornblende. 

Thallium : Dr. Gaze records this element as present in small quantity in iron- 
pyrites from Mokihinui Reefs {op. cit., p. 60). 

Titanite (Sphene) : Occurs in minute sparse crystals in several granites, and in 
coarser irregular crystals and strings in some diorites. 

Topaz : A pebble forwarded by Dr Gaze from Westport was determined by Skey 
as topaz (Lab. Rep. No. 23, 1888, p. 55). 

Tourmaline : Occurs in granites, pegmatites, and ,in hornfels (Mokihinui district). 
Pegmatitic boulders containing' tourmaline were observed at Charleston, in Mount William 
Creek, in Plateau Creek, in Tiger Creek, in the Mackley River, and in Pensini Creek. 
Pebbles of a highly basic schorl-rock occur in the gravels of the Mokihinui River. 

Tremolite : Found in small amount as an alteration product of olivine in camp- 
tonites and apparently of amphibole in some diorites. 

Uralite : Recognized in a dolerite found in creek-gravels near the new inland 
Karamea-Mokihinui Road. The spongy bluish-green hornblende of some diorites is 
probably urplite. (See Chapter V, p. 104-.) 

Water, Mineral : There are luiraerouf, small " iron " and other springs in the sub- 
division. (See Chapter III, p. 57.) No. 2 bore. Charming Creek, yields a fair flow of 
slightly mineralized water, and the Fairdown bore (Westport Coal Company) gives a 
large flow of water tasting of iron-sulphate and possibly of common salt. 

Wolframite : Determined by Sydney Fry in a solitary specimen from sluice-bo.K 
concentrates at Waimangaroa (Kenneth Ross, op. cit., p. 12). 

* W. N. Benson states that bowlingite, according to Lacroix, is probably identical with iddingsite 
and tliat the foruier name should have priority. See " Petrographical Notes on Various New South Wales 
Rooks," Proc, Linn. Soc, N.S.W., vol. .wxixj pt. 3, 1914, p. 473. 

t For oxamplo tho ooal from tho old Westport-Cardiff Mine (^V. P. Evans), and the Charleston lignite 
(Dominion Laboratory). 

14 — Buller-Mokihinui. 


WoUastonite : A boulder of garnetiferous contact-altered calcareous rock collected 
from gravels in the lower BuUer Valley contains a mineral that from its optical pro- 
perties appears to be wollastonite. 

Zircon : Occurs as minute and rare crystals in most of tte igneous rocks of tlie 
subdivision. The concentrates from sluicing claims always contain a moderate amount 
of this mineral, and it is doubtless present in all gravels and sands. No dish prospect 
was ever taken by the Geological Survey party without some zirconiferous sand being 
observed in the pannings. The mineral when once known may generally be easily 
recognized as a heavy shining sand, of a characteristic light-greyish colour with a tinge 
of red. The earliest identification of zircon in the district seems to have been made 
by Sydney Fry in gravels south of the Whareatea. (Kenneth Ross, of. cit., p. 12.) 



Besides the accidental omissions inseparable from a lengthy report of a geological 
survey extending over several years, many observations made during the course of the 
fieldwork in the Buller-Mokihinui Subdivision have been more or less intentionally 
omitted from this bulletin, principally on account of the lengthy descriptions necessary 
to embody them. Again, owing to the exigencies of space, numerous strikes, dips, 
barometric heights, and other data have been excluded from the published maps. In 
particular, had the scales permitted, W. M. Cooper's survey stations and barometric 
heights, together with the whole of R. B. Denniston's outcrops, would have found a 
place on the maps, and thus a considerable amount of information now almost in- 
accessible rendered available to the miner and surveyor. 

The following list, though far from complete, contains various corrections and 
additions (mainly to the maps) that may be of some service to the reader. 

MoKiHiNui Survey District. . 

The islets west of the Kongahu (Lower BuUer) fault north of Three-mile Creek (the 
Grenadier Rocks) are composed of Miocene limestone and -calcareous conglomerate. Seal 
Rock (or Rocks), to the north near Kongahu Point, is probably also formed of Miocene 

Salt-water Creek, mentioned by Burnett (1863), is probably Brewery Creek (tributary 
of Mokihinui River). If Denniston's Salt-water Creek (page 171 of his report) is the 
same, search for the loose coal and coal-measure grits reported by him in the bed of the 
creek 40 chains from the Mokihinui is desirable.* 

Hunter's Creek, of Burnett's 1863 report, may be the stream near Mokihinui 
Railway-station named Marris Creek by the Geological Survey. Burnett's Stony Creek 
is probably Sawyer (or Sawyer's) Creek (west of Stillwater Creek). Near this creek 
Burnett observed ironstone nodules. 

Roche's Creek (near Chasm Creek), mentioned by Denniston, has not been identified. 

Page's Creek of the early reports is Chasm Creek. 

Hodge Creek, shown on map south-east ol Mount Kilmarnock, should be Hodges 

The height of 1,360 ft. shown about a mile up Welcome Creek (or Welcome Bay 
Creek) should be 1,160 ft. The patch of granite shown Just above should extend a 

* An old tracing, found since tliis was written, shows that Denniston's Salt-water Creek is Marris Creek 
of the present survey. 


short distance downstream, and be represented about twice the size indicated on map 
Some rock that is probably a fine-grained granite was taken in the field for a re- 
crystallized sedimentary rock, and mapped as belonging to the Aorere series. 

Ngakawau Survey District. 

Crane (or Crane's) ClifP, mentioned in various reports, overlooks the Ngakawau River 
north-east of the mouth of Mine Creek. 

The more easterly of the two faults shown crossing the Ngakawau River near 
Mine Creek mouth extends some distance farther to the south than mapped. 

Round Hill, mentioned by Denniston, is Cooper's station T 100, and is south- 
south-west of Darlington in the prominent bend of the Westport-Stockton Company's 

Ford Creek, a small tributary of the Mangatini, drains the country east of the 
Westport-Stockton Company's C and D tunnels. 

The height of 2,280 ft. 50 or 60 chains north of Mount Augustus should be 2,880 ft., 
and that of 2,130 ft. to the south should be 3,130 ft. 

A small patch near the mouth of T 31 Creek (tributary of St. Patrick Stream) is 
coloured as Aorere rock, but should be mapped as gneiss. Possibly also the small 
patches to the north coloured as Aoreie should be mapped as gneiss. The outcrops 
were not closely examined. 

Veins and small patches of granite, gneiss, and schist are associated with the rocks 
mapped as Aorere near and north of Cypress Stream (tributary of Upper Waimangaroa). 

Happy Valley of Cooper's map is a flat drained by Cypress Creek and St. Patrick 
Stream. It lies south and east of the area of Aorere rocks mentioned above. 

Cedar Creek of Cooper's map is Darcy Creek of the present bulletin. It is a 
tributary of Erin Creek, which flows into St. Patrick Stream. The name was changed 
to avoid confusion with the Cedar Creek (tributary of Waimangaroa) near Mount William. 

Tio Creek of Cooper's map and of Cox's and Denniston's reports is not the Orikaka 
or Mackley River, but the more westerly branch of the Blackburn headwaters. The 
name is believed to be an adaptation of T 10. Many streams were named by Cooper 
from his stations — '3.^., T 31 Creek, V 8 Creek, &c. 

Divide Creek of Denniston's report is the more easterly branch of the Blackburn 

Orikaka Survey District. 

Tiger Creek pakihi is between the lower part of Tiger Creek and the Mackley. The 
barometric heights observed on the pakihi vary from 1,280 ft. to 1,420 ft. 

The geological map does not show the gravels that cover Feddersen's flat (at bend 
of Buller in south-east corner of Orikaka Survey District) and form terraces on the west 
side of the Buller near New and Pensini Creeks. 

The bridge (" steel bridge ") shown across the Buller east of Feddersen's is the 
" Lyell Bridge " of Chapter V, near which various Miocene fossils were collected by the 
old Geological Survey (long before the erection of the bridge). 

Lyell Survey District. 

The mapping of the fault-involved patches of Miocene rocks in Tichborne Creek 
valley is unsatisfactory, but circumstances hardly permitted of more correct work. The 
following statement is a summary of information supplied by Dr. J . Henderson : — 

The Aorere rocks in Tichborne Creek consist of alternating bands of knotted 
schistose hornfels (the knots l)cing almost certainly co diorito) and quartz-mica hornfels. 

14* — BuUor-Mi)kihinui. 


A quartz-lode less than half a mile up the stream, and at least 10 ft. wide, shows 
much mica towards its margin, thus suggesting a relationship with the acid dykes of 
the district. It is evidently connected with a still larger lode in New Creek, whether 
as a branch or as a continuation is uncertain. A lode crossing the stream a few chains 
farther up, which is said to be the vein worked by the Sir Charles Napier Company, is 
from 18 in. to 24 in. wide. 

Kawatiri Survey District. 

Nikau Creek of Cooper's map is Stony Creek (north of Waimangaroa). 

Waimangaroa Village is on railway-line to Conn's Creek, east of Waimangaroa 

The terraces from the Buller River north-east to Whareatea River are generally 
known as the Fairdown Terraces. On Cooper's map the name " Fairdown Terrace " is 
restricted to the ground between Whareatea River and Lake Creek. South of the Lake 
Creek is Greenhill Terrace ; south of Christmas Creek is Christmas Terrace ; and south 
of Hatter's Creek is Hatter's Terrace. Hatter's Creek is a branch of Christmas Creek. 
Caledonian Terrace on Cooper's map is north of Ballarat Creek near trig, station YY. 
Richly auriferous gravel was worked here about 1867. 

Jones Creek of Cooper's map is the more southerly (main) branch of Ballarat Creek. 
The name is omitted as apparently not now in use, and in order to avoid confusion 
with Jones Creek near Birchfield. 

Todea Creek of Cox and Denniston is Cascade Creek (south of Coalbrookdale). 

The surveyed branch of Vincent Creek (south-east of Mount Rochfort) was given 
the name of Edgar Creek by the Grcological Survey. 

The grits near trig, station M strike 173°, and have a westerly dip of 22°. 

In the upper part of Wright or Coal Creek thick conglomerate outcrops. 

The barometric height obtained at Lake Rochfort was 1,560 ft. Cooper's height, 
very close to the lake, is 1,545 ft. Many other barometric heights could be added to 
the published map from the field map — e.g., in Christmas Creek, the north and south 
branches of the Orowaiti, in Cascade Creek valley, &c. 

Waitakere Survey District. 
The lignite - outcrops west of Charleston near Constant Bay are not shown on the 

Ohika Survey District. 

The thin coal-seams on the roadside north-east of Hawk's Crag are not shown on 
the map. They occur about 14 chains north of the boundary between Eocene and 
Miocene rocks (the distance being measured along the east or left bank of the Buller). 
The coal strikes 326°, and dips at 75° to the south-west. Overlying sandstone and 
conglomerate strike 336°, and have a dip near 90°. The strata are fault-involved. 

Small mineral springs are reported to exist near Hawk's Crag. 

Map op the Buller Coalfield. 

The worked areas shown in solid grey are from Mines Department maps. The 
stippled areas are approximate only. 

In consequence of the lenticular nature of the coal-seams it was not considered 
advisable to, show the boimdaries of the workable coal. To do so would require much 
additional survey a.nd the construction of thickness-contouis. 

A small area of hornfels near the junction of Mossy Creek with the Mackley 
(Orikaka Survey District) is coloured as granite, instead of as Aorere rock. 


(See also pp. 196-198.) 

Page vii : To list of maps add, " Map of the BuUer-Mokihinui Subdivision showing 
Fault-lines." The uame " Mount Frederick "' has been omitted from this map. 

Figure 12a (at end) : " Washout (?) " should be placed nearer the right-hand side of 
the figure. 

Page 66 : A footnote may be added to the effect that the figures mentioned in pai'a- 
graphs 2 and 3 will be found at the end of the bulletin. 

Page 70, line 5 from bottom ; For "' satisfy the alkalies " read " satisfy the lime and 

Page 78, line 4 : For " intermixed " read " intergrown." 

Page 87 : To the discussion on the unconformity between the bituminous coal- 
measures and the Oaraaru Series a brief description of the contact on the road 
between Waimangaroa and Denniston Junction (see Trans., vol. xlvi, 1914, p. 275) 
may be added. The strata are steeply dipping and involved in the Lower BuUer 
fault, but little sign of movement can be seen at the contact itself, which is marked 
by a very slight irregularity and by a few small pebbles of granite and other 
rocks (including a piece of Kaiata mudstone), together with some calcareous concie- 
tions, the latter probably derived from the Kaiata mudstone. An erosion surface is 
thus indicated. The scarcity of pebbles is exp'ained by the Kaiata mudstone 
being too soft to form pebbles whilst being eroded. 

Page 87, paragraph 2 : In explanation and extension of the latter part of this para- 
graph the fol owing sentences may be inserted : " Since remnants of the Kaiata 
beds still overlie the Brunner beds in various elevated localities, for example near 
Burnett's Face, the reader may conclude with almost absolute certainty that these 
beds were everywhere deposited before elevation of the bituminous coal-measures 
commenced. Hence the erosion of the Brunner beds that produced the water- 
worn coal did not begin at any point whilst elsewhere deposition of the Kaiata 
beds was continuing, and therefore contemporaneous erosion is inapplicable. In the 
light of further evidence obtained from the Reefton Subdivision, joined to a careful 
reconsideration of all available data, the senior author would add that the case for 
unconformity between the bituminous coal-measures and the Oamaru Series can be 
established beyond a doubt." 

Page 102, line 7 from bottom : For " Basic boulders " read " Dark-coloured boulders." 

Page 106, paragraph 3: The so-called glass of the monchiquite from Rider Creek may 
possibly be analcite. 

Pages 131-32, 172: Under the heading of "Physical Characters" the specific gravities 
of the various coals are not mentioned, but specific-gravity determinations will 
he found on pages 134, 135, 139, 150, 173, and 175. 

Pago 141, paragraph below analyses : The composition of the " volatile hydrocarbons '" 
of weathered coal requires study. There is reason to believe that they include 
much water not expelled at 100° C, and therefore that the statements made in 
this paragraph require modification. 

Page 167, line 12 from bottom : For " Denniston and Cooper " read " Hector, who 
derived his information from Denniston and Cooper's surveys." 

Page 175, Hue 13: Ajter "quoted" insert "in addition to those given on page 173." 

Bullelin No. 17.] 




Acid dykes, 97, 98, 101, 102, 110, 198, &c. 
Acid igneous rooks, 58, 68, 95, 96-102, 106, 110, 
112, &c. {See also Granite, Quartz-por- 
phyry, &c.) 
Acknowledgments, 3. 
Aotinolite, 102, 103, 191. 

Formed by alteration of hornblende, 102, 103. 
Adamellites (Hatch), 99. 
Addenda, 196-98. 
Addison's, Addison's Flat — 

Boring near, 172, 186. 

Coal near, 74, 170-71. 

Glacial erratics near, 93, 95, 1 13. 

Geology of, &c., 83, 89, 93, 113 et seq., 172, 

Gold-mining at, 23, 24, 25, 28, 114, 115. 
Admiralty, British, coal-analyses for, 134, 135, 136, 

Agriculture, 9. 
Albion Coal-mining Company and mine, 32, 33, 

42, 154. 
Albite twinning, 101. 
Algse, calcareous, 79, 80, 90. 

Gelatinous, as source of coal, 142. 
Alluvial deposits, auriferous, 2, 23 et seq., 112-22, 

Origin of, 120-22. 

Pleistocene, 113-17. ' 

Recent, 117-20. 

Tertiary, 112-13. 
Alluvial deposits, minor, 122-23. 
Alluvial gold-mining, 2, 23-28, 112 et seq. 

History of, 23-24, 113 ei! seq. 
Almandine, 115. {See also Garnet.) 
Alum, 146, 191. 
Amphibole. {See Hornblende.) 

Spongy, 104. 
Amphibolites of Western Australia, 104. 
Amuri Group or Series, 73, 74. 
Analyses of — 

Barite, 124. 

Briquettes, 172. 

Clays, 129. 

Coal, 86, 133-38, 139, 141, 171, 173, 175, 178, 

Coke, 171. 

Concentrates, 115, 116, 117. 

" Doughboys," 179. 

Limestone, 128. 

Mica, 125. 

Resin, 180. 

Rocks, 70, 105, 128. 
Ancell, W. C, 192. 
Andesinc, 99, 104, 106, 191. 
Anorthoclase (soda-orthoclase), 99, 103, 191. 
Antecedent streams, 54, 55-56. {See also Moki- 
hinui; Bullcr; Ngakawau ; Waimane;aroa.) 
Anthozoa, 80, 90. 
Anthracite, 132. 

Anticlines, unsymmutrical, 62, 84. 
Antimony-ore, 192, 194. {See also Stibuite.) 
Aorangi Consolidated Company, 186. 

Aorere Series, 59, 67-71, 109 et seq., 121, 197, 198 

Age and correlation of, 67-68. 

Alluvial gold derived from, 121. 
' Argillites of, 69. 

Auriferous lodes of, 109-112. 

Content of, 67. 

Correlation of, 68. 

Date of folding of, 68, 69. 

Derivation of sediments of, 97. 

Distribution of, 68. 

Greywackes of, 69-70. 

Hornfelsof, 70, 111, 197. 

Metamorphitm of, 69, 70, 71. 

Petrology of, 69-71. 

Quartz veins of, 109-112. 

Schists of, 70-71, 111, 197. 

Structure of, 68-69. 
Apatite, 99, 102, 103, 191. 
Aplite, 98, 102. 

Porphyry, 102. 
Apophyses from granite, 98, 1 10. {See also Dykes, 

Appendices, 191-98. 
Arber, E. A. Newell, 142. 
Area of subdivision, 1. 
ArgiUite, 58, 69, 70, 109, 110, 112, 166. 

Bleaching of, 69, 166. 

Metamorphism of, 69, 70. 

Sheen of, 69, 70. 
Arsenoijyrite, 191. 

Assays (gold and silver), 110, HI, 115, 116, 117, 176. 
Assimilation, magmatic, 99. 
Augite, 104, 106, 191. 
Augustus, Mount, 48, 75. 

Coal and rocks of, 75, 157 et seq. 
Auriferous alluvial deposits, 2, 23 et seq., 112-22. 

Origin of, 120-22. 

Unworked, 119-20. 

(See also Beach leads. Gold, &c.) 
Auriferous lodes. {See Lodes.) 


Back Creek. {See Omanu Creek.) 
Ballarat Creek — 

Gold of, &c., 118, 198. 

Sandstone of, 89. 
Banbury Coal-mine, 32, 166, 182. {See also West- 
port Colliery and Coal Companies.) 
Barite, 123-24, 191. 

Analyses of, 124. 

Origin of veins of, 124. 
Barkcviidte, 104, 193. {See also Hornblende.) 
Bartrum, J. A., 22, 52, 86. 
Basic dykes, 98, 101, 104-6. 
Basins or "swallows," 38, 39. 78, 180. 
Bates, D. C, 6. 
Batty, M.. 11, 32. 143. 
Bayfeild, A. D., 35, 173, 174, 194. 
Baj'feild':; Flat (Seddouvillc), 33. 
Beach, sunken, 58. 
Beaches, sea, 57-58 


Beaches, raised, 52, 94, 95, 114 et seq. (See also 

Beach leads.) 
Beach leads — 

Ancient, 23, 24, 25, 52, 94, 114 et seq. 

Modern, 26, 119. 

Undiscovered, 120. 

{See also Black-sand.) 
Beaconsfield Gold-mining Company or lode, 30, 

110, 192. 
Bell, J. M., 20, 21. 

Berlin's, geology near, &c., 84, 85, 90, 114. 
Binns, G. J., 16, 18, 109 (footnote). 
Biotite, 70, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 191. 
Biotite-granite, 99. 
Biotitio bands in gneiss, &c., 101. 
Birchfield, alluvial gold near, 119. 
Bishop, James, 19. 
Bishop, T. 0., 111. 
Bismuth, 191. 

Bituminous coal. {See Coal.) 
Blackburn district — 

Coal of, (fcc, 42, 131, 150-52, 154, 184, 185, 
187, 197. 

Coal-seam, 131, 160 et seq. 

Pakihi, 53, 151, 152. 

Stream, 54, 150 et seq. 
Blackett, J., 4, 11. 
Black-sand, 25, 26, 52, 89, 94, 114 et .seq., 123, 191. 

Leads, 23 et seq., 94. 114 et seq. 
"Black-sanding," 24, 26, 119. 
Blaokwater Bridge, coal pebbles in conglomerate 

near, 86 et seq. 
Blaokwater River, 55. 

Flood-plains of, 53. 

Gold of, 112-13, 118. 
Blackwater Valley — 

Coal of, 177. 

Geology of, &c., 66, 68, 75, 76, 84, 85, 86, 104, 
106, 112, 113, 118, 177. 
Blaine, — (Charleston), 173. 
Blanket tables, 25, 26, 28, 119. 
Blocks, faulted, 47 et seq., 60, 61-62, 75, 88, 130. 

{See also Paj)aroa; Glasgow; Westport.) 
" Blow-up " method of sluicing, 25. 
Blue Bottom, 18, 25, 89, 92. 
Blue Duck Creek, coal of, 179. 
Bog-iron ore. {See Iron-ochre.) 
Bord-and-pillar method of working coal, 37. 
Boreholes, 84, 88, 148-49, 160, 169, 185-87, 188. 
Bore-logs, 148-49, 160, 186. 
Bores, trial, 188. 

Bosses, granite, 107. {See also Granite.) 
Bottoms, gold-bearing, 25. 
Boundaries of Subdivision, 1. 
Bowater and Bryan, Messrs., 35. 
Bowlingite, 195. {See also Iddingsite.) 
Boyle, Lake, 57. 
Bradley, J., 126. 
Bradshaw's — • 

Glacial erratics near, 93, 95, 116. 

Gold-mining at, &c., 28, 114, 116. 

Lead, 116. 
Breccia and breccia-conglomerate, 15, 73, 76, 77. 

{See also Hawk's Crag breccia.) 
Breccia — 

Friction, 10, 13. 

Gold-bearing, 113. 
Brewery Creek, Miocene rocks of, &c., 84, 89 et seq., 

Bricks — 

Manufacture of, 9, 128. 

Clays for, 128-29. 
Bridge section of State coal-mine, 145. 

Westport-CardifE Coal-mine, 144. 
Briquettes, 21, 45-46, 172. 

Analyses of, 172. 

Britannia Gold-mining Company and mine, 30, 109. 
Broome, G. H., 159, 161. 
Broome's outcrop, 169. 
Brown coal. {See Coal, brown.) 
Brimner beds, 59, 71 et .seq., 77-78, 79 et seq. 
Coal of. {See Coal, bituminous.) 
Paleontology of, 79-80. 
Brunner fault. {See Glasgow fault.) 
Brunner earth-block, 63. {See also Glasgow earth- 
Brunner Range, 48, 63. 
Brunner, Thomas, 2, 4, 10, 31. 
Brj'ozoa, 90. 

Buckland Peaks, &c., 48. 
Building-stones, 126. 
Buller coalfield, 1, 4, 10 et seq., 31 et seq., 130 et seq. 

198. {See also Coal.) 
Buller Coalfield Reserve, 36. 
Buller County Council Prospecting Track, 7, 163 

Buller fault. Lower, 17, 48, 50, 62-63, 74, 76, 78, 

84, 130, 154, 167, 170, 187, 188. 
Buller Gorge, Lower, 8, 46, 55. 
Buller Junction Gold-dredging Company. &c., 27, 

BuUerRiver, 1,7. 55-56. 

Alluvial gold of, 2, 23, 26 et seq., 117, 121. 
Flood-plains of, 53. 
Gold-dredging in, 26-28. 
Supposed ancient valley of, 55. 
Buller Series, 21, 73, 74, 82. 
Buller Valley— 

Aorere rocks of, 68, 197-98. 

Coal of, 167, 169, 172, 177-79. 185, 198. 

Eocene rooks of, 71, 73 et .seq., 167, 169. (See 

also Hawk's Crag breccia.) 
Faulting in, 66. 
Granite, gneiss, and other igneous rocks of, 46, 

97, 100, 103 et seq. 
Miocene rocks of, 84 et seq., 172, 177-79, 185, 
Burnett, James, 4, 11, 23, 31, 32, 143, 165, 166, 181, 

Burnett's Face — 

Coal and ooal-mining near, &c., 33, 36 et seq., 

16.5-66, 182. 
Quartz lode near, 110. 

(iSee also Coalbrookdale ; Denniston ; Wai- 
mangaroa (Upper), &c.) 
Butter-factories, 9. 


Cadigan, J. M., 116, 153. 

Camozoic rocks, 59-60, 73-93, 96, 112-13, 130 
et seq. {See also Eocene ; Miocene ; Oamaru 
Series; Coal-measui'es, &c.) 
Calcite, 191. 
Caledonian Terrace, 24, 198. 

Analyses of, 105. 
Camptonite, 98, 104, 106. 

Carboniferous rocks, supposed. (See Maitai Series.) 
Carbonite. (See Coke, natural.) 
Caroline Terrace, 61. 
Carter, W. (driUer), 186. 
Carthage Gold-mining Company and claim, 24, 25, 

Cascade Creek (Kawatiri Survey District), alluvial 
gold of, 118, 121. 
Coal of, 167, 181, 183. 
Faulting near, 64, 65, 167. 
Lodes in, 29, 110. 

(Mokihinui Survey District), coal of, &c., 34, 


Cassiterite (stream- tiii), 112, 122-23, 191-92. 
Cave area or section (Seddonville), 34, 144, 145, 

185, 186. 
Cedar Creek Saddle, auriferous deposits near, 118. 
Cement — 

Auriferous, 24, 28, 94, 117. 

Crushing, 24, 28. 

Mining, 28. 

Materials for, 127-29. 
Cemented gravels, 51, 52, 193. 
Chaloopyrite, 192. 
Chapman, F., 80. 
Charleston District — 

Coal and coal-mining in, 35, 174-76. 

Gold and gold-mining in, 23 ei seq., 114 et seq. 

Geology of, &c., 83, 84, 94, 95, 101, 126, 127, 
174 et seq. 
Charleston Mica-mine, 98, 102, 124. 

Coal-mine, 35, 175. 
Charming Creek Valley — 

Coal of, 147-50. 

Drilling in, 77, 148-49. 

Geology of, &c., 77, 78, 147 et seq. 
Chasm Creek — 

Coal near, 143 et seq. (See also Seddonville.) 

Geology of, &c., 70, 79, 80, 81, 143 etseq., 171. 
Cheeseman, T. F., 4. 
Chlorite, 99, 102, 103, 104, 110, 192. 
Chromite, 116, 122, 192. 
Clarke, J. F., 192. 
Classification, geological, 59. 
Classification of rocks, quantitative, 107. 
Clay inclusions in coal (Charleston), 176. 
Clays for brick and cement, 128-29. 

Analyses of, 129. 

Testing, 129. 
Claystones — ■ 

Miocene, 85, 88 et seq., 128-29. 

Eocene, 78, 79, 128, 129. 
Cleat of bituminous coal, 132. 
Cliffs, sea, 57, 58, 84, 89. (See also Foulwind, Cape.) 
Climate, 6. 
Clinochlore, 192. 

Coal, 1, 4, 10 et seq., 31 et seq., 59, 85, 86, 87, 88, 90, 
96, 130-88, 190, 192. 

Age of, 10, 12, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 72-73, 
80-81,87, 88, 130. 

Analyses of (proximate), 86, 133-38, 139, 141, 
171, 173, 175, 178, 179. 

Analyses of (ultimate), 133, 134, 176. 

Amount of, 11, 14, 16, 31, 43, 149, 152, 161, 
181-85, 190. 

Bituminous, 1, 4, 31 et seq.. 59, 60, 71, 77, 
130-72, 177, 179, 181-85, 188, 190, 192. 

Briquetting of, 21, 45-46, 172. 

Brown, 2, 42, 43, 45, 59, 60, 84, 85, 90, 172-79, 
185, 188, 190, 192. 

Coking of, 32, 33, 45, 171. 

Composition of, 132-40, 172-73. (Sec also 

Conservation of, 43-45. 

Detailed description of outcrops of, 142-71, 

Discoveries of, 2, 4, 10, 11, 31, &c. 

Eocene, 59, 60, 71, 77, 130-72, 181-85, 190, 

Estimates of. (See Coal, Amount of.) 

Fires in, 34, 43, 143, 157, 176. 

Friabilityof, 21,32,33, 34,43,44,45, 132, 144, 
157, 185, &c. 

Inflammability of dust, 140. 

Lignitic, 14, 31, 35, 95, 172 et .'ieq., 186. 

Loss of, in mining, 37, 43-44, 45. 

Methods of working, 36-39. 

Miocene, 59, 60, 82, 84, 86, 172-179. 185, 186. 

Coal — continued. 

Origin of, 12, 141-42, 174. 

Output of, 39-41. 

Physical characters of, 131-32, 172, &c. 

Pitch, 85, 87, 172, 177, 192. 

Prospecting for, 185-88. 

Quality of. (See Coal, Detailed description ; 

Resin in, 132, 142, 176, 178, 180, 194. 
Spontaneous ignition of, 34, 176. (See also 

Sulphur in, 132, 138-40, 175-76. (See also 

Supiilies, duration of, 43, 185, 190. 
Transport of, 37, 38, 39. 
Water-worn, in Miocene roolis, 85 et seq., 89. 
Weathering of, 86, 140-41 . 
Workable, 42 et seq., 149, 152, 154, 161, 165, 

167, 168, 170, 181 et seq. 
Goal or Parenga Creek (Mokihinui Survey Dis- 
trict) — ■ 
Coal of, &c., 33, 34, 143, 146-47, 186. 
Geology of, &c., 77, 143, 146, 147. 
Coal or Wright Creek (Kawatiri Survey District), 

coal of, &c., 75, 169, 198. 
Coal-bearing area, 74, 181, 183-84. 
Goalbrookdale — 

Coal and coal-mining near, 10, 11, 31, 36 et seq., 

131, 165 etseq., 181, 183, 184. 
Discovery of coal near, 10, 31. 
Geology of, &c., 93, 100, 118, 131, 165 

et seq. 
" Plateau," 11, 31, 118, 165, &c. 
Coal-measures, bituminous, 59, 60, 71-82, 112-13, 

130 et seq. 
Age of, 10, 12, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 72-73, 

Area of, 74. 
Coal of, 59, 60, 71, 77, 130-72, 181-85, 190, 

192, &c. 
Conditions of deposition of, 72. 
Correlation of, 73, 82. 
Distribution of, 74. 
General acooimt of, 76-79. 
Nomenclature of, 73-74. 
Paljeontology of, 79-82. 
Petrology of, 76-79. 
Structure of, 74-76. 
Subdivisions of. 71. 

Unconformity above, 13, 78, 82, 87-88. 
Unconformity below, 58, 166. 
Coal-mining, 31-46. (See also Coal.) 

Future prospects of, 42-43, 185, 190. 
Leases, 35—36. 
Coal-seams — 

Bituminous, brown, or lignitic. (See Coal.) 
Correlation of, 131, 132, 147, 158, 162, 170. 
Dirt- or shale-bands and inclusions in, 34, 144, 

145, 166, 174, 175, 176, 183, &c. (See 

also Coal, Detailed description of outcrops 

Lenticular character of, 131, 142, 143, 149, 

152, 155, 156, 160, 166, 174, 176, 183, &c. 
Roof and floor of, 131, 141, 146, 151, 155, 156, 

157, 158, 166, 167, &c. (See also Coal, 

Detailed description of outcrops of.) 
Splits of, 131, 132, 157 el .seq., 162, 164. (See 

also Matipo seam; Mangatini seam.) 
Coastal plain. Recent, 50-51. 
Coastal region, 49-62. 

Geology of, &c., 49 et seq., 82 et seq., 93 cl seq., 

100, 101, 113 etseq. 
Coastline, 57-58. (See a/,<o Shore-line ; Harbours.) 
Cobden limestone, 83, 85, 86. 
Cochrane, N. D., 34. 
Cockayne, L., 4, 


Cocksparrow Gold-dredging Company, &o., 27. 
Coke and coking, 32, 33, 45, 171. 

Analyses of, 171. 

Natural, 145, 171, 192. 
Collieries. {See Coal-mining.) 
Commentry coalfield (France), 142. 
Communication, means of, 6-8. 
Complex of igneous and schistose rocks, 58, 71, 96- 

97, 104. 
Concentrates, 109, 115, 116, 117, 122, 123. 

Analyses of, 116, 116, 117, 123. 
Concentration of gold, &c., 25, 113 et seq. 
Conohoidal fracture in coal, 132. 
Concretions — 

Calcareous, 78, 89, 151, 186,. 

Pyritic, 140, 194. 
Conglomerate — 

Eocene, 60, 7,6, 77, 79, 112-13, 145, 148, 149, 
151, 153, &c. 

Gold-bearing, 112-13. {See also Alluvial de- 

Miocene, 60, 82, 84 et seq., 175 et seq. 
Conglomerate or breccia, composition of, 7*6, 77, 

79, 85. 
Conn's Creek, incline at, 38. 
Consequent streams, 54, 157. 
Conservation of coal, 43-46, 185, 190. 
Consolidated Gold-dredging Company, &c., 27. 
Constant Bay (Charleston), 8, 67, 119, 175, 198. 

Alluvial gold near, 119. {See aZso Charleston.) 
Continent, ancient, 59. 
Cook, Captain James, 2. 

Cook's or Westenra's lease, 35, 36, 164, 165, 187. 
Cooper, W. M., 4, 12, 13, 32, 54, 136, 137, 152, 156, 

161, 167, 173, 181, -196, 198. 
Co-operative parties of miners, 34. 
Copper-ore, 192. 

Corbyvale, stream-fiats near, 53. 
Cordierite (lolite), 71, 193, 197. 
Corrigenda, 196-98. 
Cotton, C. A., 21, 88. 
Cox, S. H., 4, 13, 14, 16, 64, 65, 68, 80, 81, 131, 

138, 154, 161, 167, 173, 181, 192, 196, 197. 
Crane CM, coal of, &c., 32, 155, 182, 197. 
Cretaceous rocks, supposed, 10, 12, 15 et seq., 72, 73. 
Cretaceo-Tertiary hypothesis, &c., 72, 73. 
Crustacea, 81. 

Cryptoperthite, 99, 100, 102, 191, 192. 
Cuesta (limestone), 52, 86. 
Culm, 132. {See also Sooty coal.) 
Current bedding, 77, 142, 155, 157, 166, 175. 
Cyanidation of " cement," 28. 


Dairying, 9. 

" Dams," 57. 

Darkie Creek, coal of, &c., 176. 

Darlington district, coal of, &c., 154 et seq. 

David, T. W. E., 86. 

Davis, J. W., 92. 

Davis, W. M., 64 (footnote). 

Dawkins, W. Boyd, 86, 87. 

Deep Creek, coal of, &c., 162, 165. 

Deltas, 50, 61, 55, 58, 72. 

Dennehy's claim, concentrates from, &c., 116. 

Denniston — 

Coal, coal-mining, &c., near, 32, 36 et seq., 
134, 165 et seq. {See also Burnett's Face; 
Coalbrookdale ; Waimangaroa.) 

IncUne, 38. 

Millerton uplands, faults of, 64-66. 

"Plateau," 11, 31, 118, 166, &o. 

Quartz-mining Company, &c., 30, 110. 

Denniston, R. B., 4, 13, 14, 32, 64, 65, 80, 81, 

131, 143, 147, 151, 152, 154, 155, 156, 159, 

160, 161, 163, 164, 166, 166, 167, 168, 170, 

181, 188, 196, 197. 

Denudation, 49, 50, 60, 130, 152, 164, 168, 169, &c. 

Of Eocene coal-mea.sures, 49, 130, 152, 154, 

158, 169, 166, 168, 169, 170, 187. 

Depression of land, 49, 60, 72, 82. {See also 

Differential movements.) 
Depressions, structural, 47, 48, 52, 63, 75, 78. (See 

also Grdben ; Basins.) 
Differential movements of land, 47, 49, 56, 60, 62, 

88, 89. 
Differentiation, magmatic, 96, 98. 
Diorites, 98, 100, 101, 102-3. 
Analyses of, 106. 
Gneissic, 100, 101. 
Dobson, A. D., 5, 13. 
Dolerites, 98, 104. 
Domes, structural, 54, 76. 
Dominion Laboratory. (See Laboratory.) 
Don, J. R., 18. 
"Doughboys," 132, 142, 146, 179. 

Analyses of, 179. 
Drainage-areas of rivers, 55, 66. 
Drainage of mines, 39. 
Dredging, gold, 24, 26-28. 

Boom, 24, 26. 
Dreelite, 191, 192. 

Drift theory (coal), 141-42, 174, 183. 
" Driving-out," 25-26. 
Dunes, sand, 48, 61, 57, 58, 95. 
Dust, coal, inflammability of, 140. 
Dykes — 

Acidic, 97, 98, 101, 102, 110. 
Basic, 98, 101, 104-6. 
Intermediate, 98, 101, 103. 
"Sandstone," 34, 144, 145. 


Earth-blocks, 47 et seq., 66, 61 et seq., 75, 83, 84, 

88,130. (See afoo Glasgow block ; Paparoa 

block; Westport block.) 
Earthquakes, 50, 68. 

Earths, rare, 115, 116, 117, 123. (See«?soMonazite. 
Economic geology, 1-2, 108-90. 

Summary of, 1 89-90. 
Eggettes, 172. 

Eldorado Gold-mining Company, &o., 27. 
Electric haulage of coal, 37 et seq. 
Elevation of land, 49, 56, 60, 72, 82, 88, 130. {See 

also Differential movements.) 
Engrafted rivers, 56. 
Eocene rocks, 59, 60, 71-82, 126, 127, 130 et seq., 

&c. {See also Coal-measi'res ; Coal, &c.) 
Epidote, 100-1. 102, 103, 192. 
Erin Creek, coal of, &c., 169, 170. 
Erosion. {See also Denudation.) 
Contemporaneous, 87. 
Recent, by sen , 68. 
Erratics, glacial, 93, 96, 113, 116. 
Escarpments, 51, 62, 66, 86. {See also Cuesta.) 
Estuarine beds, conditions, &c., 82, 85, 88. 
Ettingshausen, Constantin von, 16, 17. 
Euechinoidea, 80, 90. 
Evans, W. P., 18, 138, 140. 
Exchange Gold-dredging Company, &c., 27. 
Explorations and surveys, previous, 2, 4-5. 
Explorers, early, 2, 4. 
Explosion of firedamp, 192. 
Explosives — 

Breaking subsoil with, 6. 
Breaking coal with, 37. 


Extractable coal, 184-85. (See also Coal, worU- 

"Eyes" of feldspar, 101. 


Fairdown — 

Alluvial gold near, 24, 25, 26, 114, 116, 119. 
Auriferous concentrate from, 1 1 6-1 7. 
Terrace, 198. 
Fairdown or Westport Terraces, 24, 51, 94, 114, 
116, 122, 198. 
Gold of, 24, 116, 198. 
Fans, alluvial, 5-6, 85, 95. 
Fault, hypothetical seaward, 50, 66. 
Fault-line scarps, 64-65. 

Faults and faulting, 11, 17, 18, 48. 50, 60, 61-66, 
75, 77, 84, 88, 130, 144 et seq., 151, 153 
et seq., 159, 163, 164, 165, 167, 170, 171, 
177, 178, 187, 188, 197. 
Age of, 61. 

Direction of, 64, 65, 66. 
Nature of, 62, 65. 
Fault-zones, 63, 66, 77. 
Fauna and flora, 3—4. 
Feddersen Gold-dredging Company, &o., 27, 28. 

(See also New Feddersen.) 
Feldspathoid mineral, 106. 

Feldspar, 99 et seq. [See also Ande^ine ; Anortho- 
clase; Labradorite ; Microcline ; Oligoola^e, 
Orthoclase, &c.) 
Field-work, 2-3. 

Filling in coal-workings, difficulty of, &c., 44. 
Finlayson, A. M., 111. 
Fireclay, 129. 
Firedamp, 180, 192-93. 
Explosion of, 192. 
Mres in coal-mines, &c., 34, 43, 143, 157, 176. 
Fisher Coal-mine, 32, 165. (<See also Banbury.) 
Five Fingers, Nova Scotia, liaritc veins of, 124. 
Flats, river, 5, 50, 51, 53. 
Flax-mills, 9. 
Fletcher, James, 19. 

PUnty inclusions in lignite (Charleston). 174, 176. 
Flood-plains. {See Flats, river.) 
Flora, 3-4. 

Fluviatile deposits (Quaternary), 94, 113 el seq., 
in et seq. 
Aurifti'ous, 113 6< seq., 117 et seq. 
Derivation of, 94. 
Fhivio -glacial gravels, &c., 25, 93, 95, 113. 
Fhivio-marinc gravels, sands, &e., 94-95. 
Fly Creek, coal and rocks of, &o., 65, 77, 157 el seq. 
Folding of strata, &c., 58, 59, 62, 63, 68. {See also 

Foot-tracks, 7. 
Poraminifera, 80, 90. 
Forest b(^ds, 89. 
Formations, geological, sequence and general 

struetui'c of, 58-59. 
Fossils, 79 et seq., 90 et seq. 
Foulwind, Cape — 

Geology of, &c., 46, 83, 84, 88, 89, 93, et seq., 

100, 126, 127, 128, 176, &c. 
Granite and gneiss of, 46, 96, 100, 107, 

Lignite of, 84, 17(i. 
Limestone of, 46, 88, 126 et seq. 
Named by Tasman and renamed by Cook, 2. 
Quarries near, 9, 23, 46, 126. 
Fox River — 

Breccia of, 113. 
Gorge of, 9. 
Fracture of coal, 132. 

Frederick, Mount, 48. 

Coal of, 161-62, 165, 182. 
Geoloey of, &c., 68, 70, 75, 77, 93, 161, 162, 
Fre.shwater deposits, 60, 71, 77, 82, 84, 85, 88. 

{See also Alluvial deposits. Gravels, &c.) 
Friable coal, 21, 32, 33, 34, 43, 44, 45, 132, 144, 
et seq. 
Utihzation of, 21, 32. 33, 45-46, 171, 172. 
Fry. Sydney, 80, 81, 93, 116, 122, 123, 191, 192, 

193, 194, 195, 196. 
Fucoid stems, casts of, 80, 90. 


Galena, 192. 

Galvin, P., 16, 20. 

Ganister, 126. 

Garnet, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 115, 192. 

Garvin, E. B., 32, 143 

Gas, natural, 192-93. 

Gasteropoda, 81, 91-92. 

Gaze, W. H., 5, 17, 97, 123, 191, 192, 195. 

Geikie, Archibald, 87. 

Geological history, 59-60. 

Geology — 

Economic, 1-2, 108-90. 

General, 66-107. 

Outline of, 58-60. 
German Gully, 90, 114. 
German Terrace, 24, 51, 122. 
Giles Creek. {See Orowaiti River.) 
Giles Terrace, 24, 51. 
Glacial deposits, sup];osed, 60, 76. {See alio 

Hawk's Crag breccia.) 
Glacial gravels, &c., 25, 51, 53, 93, 95, 113. 
Glaciation, evidences of, &c., 13, 48, 49, 60, 93, 

95, 113. 
Glacier, former piedmont, 113. 
Glasgow earth-block, 47, 63. 
Gla.sgow fault, 48, 63, 75, 130, 147, 153. 
Glasgow, Mount, 48. 
Glasgow Range, 47, 48. 

Geology of, &c., 48, 68, 70, 96. 
Gneiss and gneissic rocks, 95, 96-97, 99, 100-1 . 

Age of, 97, 100. 

Banding and contortion of, 98, 99, 100, 101. 
Gold, alluvial, 2, 23-28, 112 et seq. 

Character and quality of, 120. 

Concentration of, 25, 113 et seq. 

Discoveries of, 2, 4, 23. 

Losses of, &o., 28. 

Origin or .source of, 11, 16, 18. 120-22. 

Rusty, 25, 28, 117, 120. 
Gold in quartz veins, &c.„2, 29-:!0, 109 at seq. 
Gold -mining, 23-31, 109 et seq. 
Gold-production, 30-31. 
Gondwanaland, 59. 

Gordon, H. A., 16, 18, 19, 20, 109, 115. 194. 
Gorges, 8, 9, 54, &c. 
Ordben, 47, 48, 52, 63. 

Inangahiia, 48, 52. 
Grainger's Pouit, auriferous gravel of, 114. 
Granite and gneiss — 

Intermingling of, 96-97. 

Evidence of pressure upon, 98, 99, 100, 101. 
Granite, auriferous, 121. 

D'te of intrusion of. 19. 59, 09, 96, 97. 

Supposed intrusive into coal-measures, 10. 
Granito-porjjhyry. 97, 102. {See also Quartz- 

Granitic rocks,"9.5, 96-97. 98-100, 107. 

Analyses of, 105. 


Granity Creek — 

Coal of, &c., 154, 156. 

Township of, 7. 
Granodioiite, 98, 99, 107. 
Granulated quartz, 100, 101. 
Graphic intergrowths, 99, 102. 
Graphite, 192. 
Gravels, 59, 93-95, 112 et seq. 

Auriferous. {See Gold, Alluvial, &o.) 

Semi-residual, 118. 
Grant's Face (State Coal-mine), 144, 145. 
Grazing, 9. 
Great Republic Gold-mining Companj', &c., 29, 

30, 109. 
Greenland Scries, 68, 121. 
Gregory, J. W., 69. 
Gresley, W. S., 86. 

Grej mouth coalfield, 71, 73, 74, 112, 133. 
Greymouth Series, 83. 
Greywacke, 58, 59, 69-70, 109, HO, 111, 126, 161. 

Bleached, 70, 161. 

Silicified, 70. 
Grits — 

Barren surface of, 6, 165. 

Current bedding of, 77, 155, 157, 166. 

Eocene, 5, 77 et seq., 126, 144 et seq. 

Lateral and vertical variation of, 78, 157 et 

Miocene, 85, 88, 89, 175 et seq. 
Ground sluicing, 24, 25. 
GTOwih-in-situ theory, 141, 142, 174. 


Haast, Julius von, 2, 4, 10, 15, 16, 31, 58, 67, 72. 
Haggard Creek, lamprophyre of, 104. 
Hamilton, A., 19, 92. 
Happy VaUey — 

Coal of, 161,162, 163. 

Geology of, 70, 16i; 162, 163. 

Situation of, 162, 197. 
Harbour Board. {See Westport.) 
Harbours, 7-8. 
"Hard pan," 51, 52, 193. {See also "Cement"; 

Cemented gravels ; Iron-ochre.) 
Haulage in coal-mines, &c., 37, 38, 39. 
Hatch, F., 99. 
Hawk's Crag — 

Coal near, 85, 177, 198. 

Geology, &c., near, 66, 75, 76, 77, 84 et seq., 

Gold-bearing beaches near, 117. 

Mineral springs reported near, 198. 
Hawk's Crag breccia, 59, 60, 71 et seq., 76-77. 96, 
104, 113, &c. 

Age of, 73. 

Origin of, 60, 76-77. 

Bocks resembling, 77. 
Hayes, John, 19. 

Haylock and Young's Coal-mine, 33, 168, 192-93. 

Hector, James, 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 

32, 56, 61, 62, 64, 72, 73, 74, 80, 91, 92, 

97, 121, 123, 136, 137, 146, 147, 181, 182, 

185, 186. 

Estimates of coal by, 181-83. 
Hector section of Westport-Cardiff Coal-niine, 144. 
Heaphy, Charles, 2, 4, 10, 31. 
Henderson, J., 2, 197. 
Hennessey, P., 123. 

Highlands, 47-49. {See also Mountains.) 
Hill, Henry, 56 (footnote). 
Hills, 50, 52. 
History — 

Early, 2. 

Geological, 59-60. 

Hochstetter, F. von, 11, 180. 
Hodges Creek — 

Alluvial gold of, 119, 121. 

Geology of, &c., 98, 102, 119. 
HoUng-machines, coal, 37. 
Hornblende, 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 106, 191, 193. 

Alteration of, 101, 102, 103, 104, 191. 
Hornfels, 70, 110, 111, 126, 145. 

Analyses of, 70. 

Inclusions of, in quartz-porphyry, 97, 101. 

Sheen of, 70. 
Hour-glass .structure in augite, 106. 
Humic coal. (See Coal, bituminous.) 
Hut coal-seam, 131, 146. {See also Mokihinui.) 
Hutton, F. W., 5, 12, 13, 16, 17, 19, 72, 73, 82, 97, 

100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 111. 
Hydrauhc sluicmg, 24-25, 119. 
Hypabyssal rocks. {See Dykes.) 


Iddingsite, 106, 195. 
Igneous rocks, 58, 95-107, 110, 112, &c. 
Age and correlation of, 96. 
Chemical relationships of, 106-7. 
Content and genera] account of, 95-96. 
Distribution of, 96. 
Quantitative classification of, 107. 

{See also Diorite, Granite, Gneiss, Lam- 
prophjj-re, Quartz - porphyry. Syenite, 
Dykes, &c.) 
Ihaenite, 94, 104, 106, 114, 123, 193. {See also 

Black-sand. ) 
Inanga or whitebait, 3. 
Inangahua coalfield, 43, 172, 185, 188, 
Inangahua grdben, 48, 52, 63, 83. 
Industries, primary, 9, 23 et seq. 
Miscellaneous, 9. 

{See also Mining, &c.) 
Inclines, seH-acting, 38, 39. 
Information, general, 1-22. 
Inhabitants, 6. 

Inliers of granite, gneiss, &c., 74, 96, 106, 150. 
lolite, (cordierite), 71, 193, 197. 
Ironbridge Coal-mine, 37, 136, 166. 
Iron-ochre, 193. 
Iron -pyrites. {See Pyrite.) 

Ironsand, 12, 24 et seq., 52, 94, 95, 114 et seq., 123, 
Composition of, 115, 116, 117, 123. 

(See a/.so Black-sand ; Magnetite; Ihnen- 
ite, &c.) 
Island sandstone, 71, 73. 

Islands, during time of coal-formation, 142, 145. 
Islets, 2, 58, 196. 


James, I. A., 19, 134, 138. 

Jamieson, J., 19. 

Jet, 193. 

Jigs (coal-mines), 37. 

Joints and jointmg, 69, 98, 126, 132. 

Jones Creek, 198. 


Kaiata beds, 59, 71, 78-79, 80-82, 147, 150, 151, 
Age of, 80-81. 

Conglomerate and grit of, 78, 79. 
Distribution of, 78. 
Limestone of, 78, 79. 


Kaiata beds — ■continued. 

Mudstone of, 5, 78-7!). 

Paleontology of, 80-82. 

Sandstone of, 78, 79. 

Thickness of, 78. 
Kakapo, 3. 

Kanieri Series (Bell and Fraser), 08. 
Kaolin, 193. 
Kelvin, Mount, 48. 
Kent coalfield (England), 87-88. 
Kilmarnock, Mount, 47. 

Geology of, &c., 63, G8, 70, 9G. 
Kitto, J. v., 173. 
Kiwi, 3. 
Kiwi Compressor — 

Alluvial gold near, 1 1 8. 

Coal near, 162, 164, 165, 182. 

Geology near, &c., 35, 65, 93, 162, 164, 165. 
(See also Waimangaroa, Upper.) 
Kiwi fault, 65, 165, 184. 
Kiwi Ridge, coal of, 162, 165. 
Knights of Labour co-operative party, 34. 
Koch, A., 13. 
Kongahu or Lower BuUer fault, 17, 48, 50, 62-63, 

74, 75, 78, 84, 130, 154, 167, 170, 187, 188. 
Kongahu Series, 83. 
Koranui Company and mine, 33, 35, 162, 182. 

Laboratory, Colonial or Dominion, 3, 22, 133, 134, 
135, 140, 194. {See also Analyses, Mac- 
laurin, J. S., and Skoy, W.) 
Labradorite, 103, 193. 
Laccoliths, 101. 
Lagoons, 51, 55, 56, 57. 

Infilled, 51, 57. 
Lake or lakes, supposed ancient, 60. 
Lakes, 57. 
Lamprophyres, 95, 96, 98, 104-6. 

Age of, 96, 104. 
Lamprophyric pebbles in Brunner beds near Grey- 
mouth, 73. 
Land, former extension of, 59, 72, 79, 121, 122. 
Land and soil, character of, 5-6, 51, 52, 53, 165. 
Lands and Survey Department, 3. 
Lanky's Gully (Reefton), auriferous cement of, 1 13. 
" Lawrence," s.s., wreck of, 8, 33. 
Leads, black-sand beach, gold-bearing, 23 et seq., 
113 et seq. {See also Black-sand loads; 
Beaches, raised.) 
Leases, coal-mining, 32, 33, 34, 35-36. 
Leaves, fossil, 79-80, 90. 
Lenticularity of — 

Beach-beds, &c., 25. 

Coal-seams, 142, 149, 152, 155, 160, 166, 174, 
176, 183, &c. 

Brunner beds, 71, 77, 78. 
Loucoxene, 102, 106, 193. 
Lignite — 

Miocene, 84, 172 et seq., 186. 

Pleistocene, 95. 
Lily Creek, coal of, 177. 
Lime, manufacture of, 9, 127. 
Limekiln near Ca])e Foulwind, 9. 
Limestones, 10, 79, 80, 82, 88, 89, 126, 127 el seq. 

Analyses of, 128. 

Building, 126. 

Cement, 127-28. 

Kocone, 79, 80, 127, 128. 

Miocene, 82, 88 et seq., 126, 127, 128. 
Limonite, 193. (See aiso Iron-ochre.) 
Lindop, A. B., 19. 
Liparitc, 97, 101. 
Liquid inclusions in quartz, 100, 102. 

Literature, 9-22. 

Lit par lit gneiss, 101. 

Little Hawk's Crag, rocks near, 76. 

Littoral beds or conditions, 82, 85, 88. 

Liversidge, A., 125, 180. 

Locomotives, electric, 37, 38. 

Lode-mining, 29-30. 

Lodes — 

Auriferous, metalliferous, 29, 30, 109-12, 198 

Barite, 123-24. 
LoUingite, 110-11, 193. 
Loughnan, R. A., 20. 
Lovell, H., 173. 
Lower Buller fault, 17, 48, 50, 62-63, 74, 75, 78 

84, 130, 154, 167, 170, 187, 188. 

Auriferous rocks of, 110, 111, 121. 

Geology near, &c., 70, 89, 91, 110, 111, 112, 
127, 197-98. 

Quartz-mining near, 29-30, 1 10-11. 

Range, 48. 
L 75 Creek, coal of, 163, 165. 


MoCann's Claim (Addison's), concentrate from, 115. 

McKay, Alexander, 4, 5, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 
20, 51, 56, 59, 62, 64, 68, 72, 73, 74, 76, 81, 
85, 86, 90, 91, 92, 94, 111, 114, 115, 121, 
122, 123, 143, 147, 173, 188, 192, 193, 195. 

Mackay, James and Alexander, explorations by, 
2, 4. 

Macldey or Orikaka River, 56. 

Maekley Valley — 

Alluvial gold of, 118. 
Coal of, 152-54. 

Geology of, &c., 68, 74, 75, 79, 80, 81, 94, 96, 
101, 102, 103, 104, 106, no, 112, 118, 122, 
162-54, 197. 

Maclaren, J. M., 21. 

Maclaurin, J. S., 3, 21, 133, 137. {See also 
Analyses ; Laboratory.) 

McQueen and Company's dredge, 24, 26. 

Magma, granitic, differentiation of, 95, 98, 107. 

Magnetite, 99, 103, 107, 193. {See also Black- 

Maitai Series or rooks, 59, 68, 69, 121. 

Maly, Richard, 180. 

Manawatu River, antecedent character of, 56. 

Mangatini Creek, coal of, &c., 154 ei seq. 

Mangatini coal-seam, 131, 154 et seq. 
Split of, 157 et seq. 

Mangatini fault, 66, 156, 180. 

Mangatini township, tliick coal near, 165. 

Marcasite, 140, 193, 194. 

Marino deposits beneath stream gravels, 52, 94, 114. 

Marine gravels and. sands, 59, 93, 94r-95, 114 et seq., 
119 et seq. 
Auriferous, 114-17, 119. {See also Beach- 
leads ; Black-sand ; Gold, &c.) 

Marine strata. Tertiary. (<S'ee Kaiata beds, 
Oamaru Series, &c.) 

MarshaU, P., 20, 21, 56, 69, 73, 87. 

Matipo coal-seam, 131, 157 et seq. 
Split ol, 157 et seq. 

Matipo outcrop, 159. 

Mawheranui Series, 59, 71, 74. {See also Coal- 
measur(!s ; Waimangaroa Series.) 

Metalliferous quartz-veins, 29, 30, 109-12, 198. 

Metamorphism of Aorcre rocks, 69, 70, 71. 

Metivmorphosed scdiiucntary rocks, criteria for, 70. 

Metcalf, T. J., 15. 

Mica, 1 5, 1 7, 98, 102, 124-26. (See also Muscovite ; 


Mica -mine, 102, 124. 

Mica-schist, 70. 

Microcline, 99, 193. 

Microgranite. {See Granite -porphyry.) 

Microperthite, 99. 

Millerton Coal-mine, 33, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42. 

Millerton district, coal of, &c., 154 et seq. {8ee 

also Mine Creek; Mangatini.) 
Millerton fault, 65-66, 156, 180. 
Mine Creek, coal of, &c., 154 et seq. 
Mine -timbers, 9. 
Mineral water, 57, 195, 198. 
Mineral -wealth, 1-2. {See also Economic geology; 

Coal; Gold, (fee.) 
Minerals — 

List of, 191-96. 
Miscellaneous economic, 126. 
Mines. (See Coal; Gold, &c.) 
Mines Department — 

Coal-prospectii-ig by, 143, 144, 145, 186. 
Reports of, 10, 22, &c. 

{See also State Coal-mine, S?ddonville ; 
Mines Record, 10, 22. {See also Galvin, P.) 
Miners, alhiviaL 24. 
Mining — 

AUuvial gold. [See Alluvial mining ; Gold.) 
Coal. {See Coal-mining.) 
Industry, 23-46, 109 et seq., 130 et seq. 
Methods, 36-39. 
Miocene depression, 60, 82. 
Miocene outliers, 174. 
Miocene rocks, 59, 60, 82-93, 113, 172 et seq., 

186, 187, 188. {See also Oamaru Series.) 
Mokihinui (Kynnersley) — 

Alluvial gold at, 24, 118, 119. 
Coal Company, &c., 33, 34. 36, 143, 187. 
Coalfield, 16, 17, 31 et seq., 40, 41. 42, 
130 et seq., 142 et seq.. 183, 185. 186, 
District, geology of, &c., 68, 70, 74, et seq., 
78 et seq., 82 et seq., 88 et seq., 94, 96, 
98, 99, 100, 103, 107, 118, 119, 120, 123, 
126, 130, 131, 142 et seq.. 183, 185, 186, 
Lvelltrack, 7, 79, 1.53. 
Reefs, 29, 111. 
River, 8, 54. 
River gorges of, 8-9, 54. 
{See also Seddonville.) 
Mokoia Gold-dredging Company, &c., 27. {See 

also New Mokoia.) 
Moles, Westport Harbour, 58, 126. 
Monazite, 116, 123. 194. 
Monchiquite, 98, 104, 106. 
Monzonite, rock resembling, 103, 107. 
Morainic material, boulders, (fee., 51, 93, 95, 113. 
Moran's water-race, coal-outcrop at, 74. 170-71. 
Morgan, P. G., 21, 22, 49, 87, 124. 
Moun tarns, 47-49. {iSee also Highlands, &c.) 
Mountains, block, 47 el seq. {See also Glasgow ; 

Papahaua ; Paparoa. (fee.) 
Mount Radiant Subdivision, 63, 68, 95. {See also 

Webb, E. J. H.) 
Movmt WilUam fault, 18, 48, 64, 75, 78, 1.30, 160, 

161, 167, 169. 
Mount William Range, 48 
Coal of, 154, 169-70,182. 
Geology of, .fee, 64, 71, 75, 77, 96, 101, 154, 
161, 169-70. 
Mouterc gravels, 121. 
Moutere River, hypothetical, 56. 
Mudstones, marine, 5, 78-79, 85, 146. (;See also 

Kaiata beds; Oamaru Series.) 
Mullho Hand's drift, 32, 168. 
Munro, F. F., boring by, 186. 

Muscovite, 15, 69, 98, 100, 102, 124-25, 194. 
Muscovite-biotite-granite, 99. 
Muscovite -granite, 100. 


Nada Creek — 

Brown coal of, 177. 

Geology of, (fee, 75, 76, 177. 
Nelson Examiner, 22. 
New Creek — 

AUuvial gold of , 118, 121. 

Geology of, (fee, 70, 110, 111, 118, 121, 197-98. 

Quartz lodes of, ,fec., 29-30, 110-11, 197-98. 
New Era Gold-dredging Company, 26. 
New Fairdown Gold-dredgmg Compan}', 26. 
New Feddersen Gold-dredging Company, &c., 28. 
New Inland Road, 7. 

New Mokoia Gold-drtdging Company, (fee, 27. 
Newman, F. G., 138. 
Newton, James, 37 (footnote), 134. 
Ngakawau, alluvial gold near, 26, 118, 119. 
Ngakawau River, 8, 9. 54, 189. 

Geology of. (fee, 64, 66, 75, 80, 81, 94, 96, 103, 
119, 130, 131, 147 et seq., 154 el seq., 1.57 
et seq. 

Gorge of, 9, 54, 189. 

Water-power of, 189. 
Nile Gold-mining Company, 21. 
Nile River. {See Waitakere.) 
Nome (Alaska), auriferous beaches of, 120. 
Norms, table of, 107. 
Nuggets, gold. 120. 
NummuUtic limestone, .supposed, 14. 


Oamaru Beds — 

Lower, 82, 84-88, 172 el seq. 

Middle, 82, 88 et seq. 

Upper, 82, 89, et seq. 
Oamaru Series, 59, 73, 82-93, 172-79, 186, 197. 

Age and correlation of, 83, 92-93. 

Area covered by, 83. 

Coal of, 59, 60, 82, 84, 85, 172-79, 185, 186, 
188, 192. 

Coal-pebbles in, 85-86, 89. 

Conditions of deposition of, 82. 

Content of, 82. 

Distribution of, 83. 

General characters of, 84, 89. 

Palaeontology of, 90-93. 

Structure of,' 83-84. 

Subdivision of, 82. 

Unconformity below, 13, 82, 87-88. 
Oamaru System. {See Oamaru Series.) 
O^Conor, E. J., 12, 137. 
Ohikanui River, 55. 
Ohikanui Valley — 

Flood-plains of, 53. 

Glaciation of, 49. 

Geology of, (fee, 64, 93, 94, 95, 96. 
Ohika Survey District, faults in, 64, 66. 
Old Diggings (near Berhn's), 2, 23, 117. 

Gold found at, 23. 
Old Diggings Gold-dredging Company, (fee, 27. 
Old Inland Road, 7. 
Oligocene beds, probable, 83. 
Oligoclase, 99, 194. 
Olivine, 104, 106, 194. 

Alteration of, 106, 195. 
Omanu or Back Creek, coal-outcrops near, 74, 

Omotumotu beds, 83. 

Coal pebbles in, 86. 


Oparara district (Karamea) auriferous granite of, 

Ophitic structure, pseudo-, in granite, 100. 
Opossums, 3. 
Ordovician rocks, .59, 07 ef seq. {See also Aorere 

Orikaka River, 55. (8ee aUo Mackley.) 
Orowaiti flats, 55. 
Orowaiti Lagoon, 67. 

Orowaiti River, geology of, &c., 89, 192. 198. 
Orthoclase, 99, 102, 126, 194. 

Large crystals of, 102, 126. 
Osmiridium, 20, 122, 194. 
Outliers of coal, coal-measures, &c., 74, 75, 161-62, 

169, 170, 174, &c. 
Output — 

Coal, 40, 41. 

Gold, 31. 
Overlaps, 15, 60, 78, 85, 89, 187-88. 

Pakihis, 1, 3, 5, 51, 52. 

Soil or subsoil of, 6, 51 , 52. 

Vegetation of, 3. 
Palaeontology of bituminous coal-measures, 79-82. 

Oamaru Series, 90-93. 
Papahaua Range, 47, 48, 49.. 

Geology of, &c., 48, 75, 78, 130. (See aho 
Coal-measures, &c.) 
Papahaua sub-block, 75, 78, 130. 
Paparoa beds (Greymouth), 73. 
Paparoa Range, 8, 47, 48, 49. 

Geology of, &o., 48, 63, 68, 74, 76, 77, 83, 84, 
89, 96. 
Paparoa-Papahaua earth-block, 48-49, 75, 83, 84, 
89, 130. 

Age of, 89. 

Drainage of, 5, 51. 
Parenga or Coal Creek (Mokihinui Survey District), 
geology of, &c., 33, 34, 77, 143, 14&^7, 186. 
Park, James, 17, 19, 20, 21, 72, 74, 97, 1)1, 136. 
Pasture land, 5, 6, 9. 
Peaty lignite, 95. 
Peaty soil, (fee. (See Paldhis.) 
Pebble-beds, 79, 82, 154. 
Pebbles of coal. (See Coal, waterworn). 
Pegmatite, 98, 99, 102, 124, 125, 194. 

Analyses of, 105. 

Giant, 102. 
Pelecypoda 80-81, 90-91. 
Peneplain — 

Fossil. 49, .52, 56. 

Elevated, 49, 58, 60. 
Peneplanation, former, 49, 58, 60, 72. 
Pennine or penninitc. 100, 192, 194. (;iSfee also 

Pensini Creek Valley — 

Coal of, 178-79". 

Geology of, &c., .53, 84, 89, 94, 102, 103, 127, 
Petrie, D., 4. 
Physiography, 47-58. 
Piedmont glacier, former, 113. 
Pilite, 106. 
Pillars, coal, 37. 
Pisces, 92. 

Pitch coal, 85, 87, 172, 177, 192. 
Pitch of faulted blocks, &c., 48, 75, 84. 
Plagioclase, 99, 103, 104. {See. also Andeaine ; 

Labradoriti^ ; OligoclMse.) 
Plan of conducting work. 3. 
Plant-remains, 79-80. 90. 

"Plateau," Denniston or Coalbrookdale, 11, 31, 
48, 118, 185. 

Plateau, distorted, 48. {See also Papahaui Moun- 
Platinum, 115, 117, 122, 194. 
Pleistocene beds, 59, 93-95, 113 et se^.. 174. 

Auriferous depo.sits of, 93, 113-17. 

Fluviatilc gravels of, 94, 113-14. 

Fluvio-niarine gravels and sands of, 94-95 

Marine gravels and sands of, 94-95, 1 14-1 7, 1 74 

Morainic gravels of, 94, 113. 

Peaty lignite of, 95. 

Unconformity below, 93. 
Plover Creek, coal of, 157 et .seq., 182. 
Phitonio rocks. {See Igneous rocks.) 
Pluvial deposits, 51, 59, 60, 76-77, 93, 95. 

Definition of, 77 (footnote). 

{See aUo Hawk's Crag breccia.) 
Ponds, 57. 
Population, 6. 
Porphyi-itcs, 98. 
Porphyritic granite, 99. 
Port Elizabeth beds, 83. 
Pothole, auriferous, 118. 
Powell's Claim (Rahui), 24, 119. 
Pre-Cambrian and pre -Ordovician rocks, possible, 

59, 71. 
Premier Gold-dredging Company, &c., 27, 28. 
Previous explorations and surveys, 4-5. 
Primary industries, 9, 23 et seq. {See also Mining, 

Prospecting, 112, 143, 144, 145, 148-49, 152, 

187-88. {See also Boreholes.) 
Proustite, 194. 

Pyrite, 99, 102, 103, 109, 140, 193, 194. 
Pyritic concretions, 140, 194. 


Quantitative classification of igneous rocks, 107. 

Quarries, stone, 9, 23, 46, 126, 127. 

Quartz as rock constituent, 99. 100, 101, 102, 103, 

104, 194. 
Quartz lodes — 

Veins or reefs, 29, 30, 109-12, 198. 

Lenticular character of, 109. 

Origin of, 11, 112. 

Prospecting for, 112. 
Quartz-diorite, 98, 102-3. 

Quartz-felsite, 97, 101 . {See also Quartz-porphyry. ) 
Quartz-mining. (<See Lode-mining ; Gold-mining.) 
Quartz-porphyry, 97, 98, 101-2. 

Inclusions in, 97, 101. 

Mistaken for sedimentary rock, 97. 
Quaternary strata, 52, 59, 78,' 83, 93-95, 1 13 et seq., 
121. (/See a^-so Pleistocene and Recent.) 


RadclifEe Ridge, 50, 94, 96. 

Rahui, gold-mining at, 26, 119. 

Railways, 7, 46. 

Rainfall, 6. 

Raised beaches. {See Beaches.) 

Rangiloto, Mount (Westland), auriferous granite 

of, 121. 
Rue earths, 115, 116, 117, 123-24. (See also 

Puccent coastal plain, .^O-Sl. 
Recent deposits, 59, 95, \\1 et -feq. 

Gold of, &c., 117-19. 
Recent species, percentages of, in Miocene rocks, 

92, 93. 
Reery.stallized quartz, 100, 101. 
Red deer, 3. 


Red Queen Gold-mining Company, &o., 29. (See 

also Swastika.) 
Reed, F., 3, 21. 
Reefton District — 

Auriferous rooks of, 68. 

Miocene fossils oi, 93. 
Residual deposits, 118. 

Resin (retinite) in coal, 132, 142, 176, 178, 180, 194. 
Resin, analyses of, 180. 
Reversed faults, 66. 
RhyoHte, 97, 101. 
Rhodonite, 194. 

Rider Creek, monchiquite of, 104, 106. 
River-courses, ancient, 11, 55, 85. 
River-flats, 5, 50, 51, 53. 
Rivers, 1, 8, 9, 47, 53-56.' 

Drainage-areas of, 65, 56. 
Road-making material, 126-27. 
Roads and tracks, 7. 
Roche's drift, Waimangaroa, 32, 168. 
Rochfort, John, 2, 4, 10, 23, 31. 
RocMort, Lake, 57, 198. 
Rochfort, Mount, 48. 

Coal of, 168-69, 183. 

Geology of, &c., 60, 61. 62, 65, 71, 74, 75, 77, 
93,118, 130, 168-69. 
Rochfort Terrace, 51. 
Rook-basins, 48, 49. 

Rocklands Gold-dredging Company, &c., 27, 28. 
Bock-quarrying, 9, 23, 46, 126, 127. (.See also 

" RoUs," 62, 66, 132, 144, 145, 164, 168, 180. 
Rosen busch, H., 106. 

Ross, Kenneth, 20, 122, 191, 192, 194, 196. 
Royal Commission of Mines, 45. 
Rusty gold, 25, 28, 117, 120. 
Rutile, 99, 100, 103, 107, 194. 


Sagenite, 99, 100, 103. (See. also Rutile.) 
St. Helen's, flat near, 53. 
St. Patrick Stream, 55. 

Coal of, &o., 157 et seq., 182, 197. 

Geology of, &c., 65, 77, 79, 157 et seq., 169. 
(See also Fly Creek; Plover Creek.) 
Sand-dunes, sandhills, &c., 48, 51 , 57, 58, 95. 
Sandstone " dykes," " stone veins," 34, 144, 145. 
Sandstones — 

Eocene, 5, 76 et seq., 126, 131, 143 ef seq. 

Miocene, 82, 84, 85, 88 et seq., 175 et seq. 
SawmiUs, 9. 
Scaphopoda, 81, 91. 
Schist, 70-71,111,197. 
Schorl rock, 100. (See also Tourmaline.) 
Sea, Miocene, at greatest depth, 82. 
Sealers camped at Three Steeples, 2. 
Seals on Three Steeples, 3. 
Sea-ports, 7-8. 

Ssa-shelLs, reported in lignite, 174. 
SeatonviUe (Mokihinui Reefs), quartz lodes at, 29, 

Scenery, 8-9. 
SeddonviUe — 

Clay near, 129. 

Faults near, 64, 144 et seq. 

Flat, 53. 

Coal and coal-mining near, 32, 33, 34, 40, 41, 
(See also Mokihinui.) 
42, 142 et seq., 183, 185, 186, 187. 

Coal-seam, 131, 142 et seq. 

Geology of, &c., 64, 79. 129, 142 et seq., 187. 

State Coal-mine, 19, 20, 34, 40, 41, 42, 142 
eiseg., 146, 183, 185, 186, 187. 
(See also Mokihinui.) 

SeddonviUe-Mokihinui district, coal of, 142-47. 

(See also Mokihinui.) 
Segregations in igneous rocks, 96, 101 . 
Sergeant's Hill, bore near, 84, 88, 186. 
Sericite, 99, 102, 103, 195. 
Serpentine, 102, 106, 196. 
Shackleton, J. H., 138. 

Eocene, 76 e< .sej., 143 ei 6'eg'. 

Miocene, 84, 85, 174 et seq. 
Shamrock Claim, concentrates from, 115, 122. 
Shore-line, 67-58. (5ee aZso Coast-line ; Harbours.) 
Sims drift, Waimangaroa, 32, 168. 
Sims Spur, coal of, &c., 168. 
Skey, W., 86, 123, 128, 133, 135, 136, 137, 173, 193, 

Sihcifioation — 

Along fault-planes, 65. 

Of Aorere rocks, 70. 

Of feldspar, 100-1. 

Of shale, 86. 
Siluro-Ordovioian rooks, possible, 68. (See also 

Aorere Series.) 
Slack, coal, 45. 
SUokensides, 66. 
Slug Creek — 

Brown coal of, 178. 

Diorite of, 103. 
Sluicing, gTound and hydraulic, 24-25. 
Soda-orthoolase, 103. (See also Anorthoclase.) 
Soil, subsoil, &c., 5-6, 51, 52, 53, 165. 
SoUas, W. J., 20, 100. 
Sooty coal, 132, 156, 167, 168, 169, 177. 
■ Southern Alps, folding of, 69. 
Spathic iron -ore, 196. 
Speight, R., 21.' 
Spessartite, 106. 

Sphene (titanite). 99, 103, 107, 195. 
Spinel, 196. 

Splits in coal-seams. 131, 157 et seq., 164. 187. 
Springs, 57, 198. 
" Squeezes " or roUs, 180. 
Stable Creek fault, 66. 
Stacks, 58. 
State Coal-mine, 19, 20, 34, 40 et seq., 142 et seq., 

183, 186, 186, 187. (See also SeddonviUe.) 
Steeples, The Three, 2, 3, .58. 
Stevenson Creek — 

AUuvialgoldof, 118,121. 

Quartz lodes of, 110. 
Stibnite, 194. 

Stockton, Mount, geology of, &c., 75, 159. 
" Stone veins," 34. (See also " Sandstone dykes.") 
Stony Creek (Waimangaroa) — 

Geology of, &c., 68, 75, 78, 100, 102, 109, 110. 

Quartz-lodes at, &o., 29, 30, 109-10. 
Streams. (See Rivers.) 
Stream-tin, 112, 122-23, 191-92, 196. 
Structure, general, of formations, 58-59. 
Structure of — 

Aorere Series, 68-69. 

Coal-measures, 74-76, 1,30, 145-46, &c. 

Oamaru Series, 83-84. 
Subsidence of land (Recent), 68. (Set alio De- 
Subsoil, 5, 61, 52. 
Sulphur, 138, 140, 146, 175, 176, 195. 

In coal, 138-40, 175-76. 

Organically combined, 176. 
Sulphuretted hydrogen evolved — 

From coa], 18, 140, 175. 

By springs, 56. 
Suiiace features, main, 47. 
Surveys, previous — 

Geological, 4-5. 

Topographical, 4. 


Suter, Henry, 80, 90 (footnote), 92, 93. 

"Swallows," 38, 39, 180. 

Swamps, 51, 57. 

Swastika Gold-mine.s ^Limited), 29, 111. 

Syenite, 98, 102-103, 


Tables of— 

Coal-analyses, 86, 135-37, 139, 173. 

Coal-output, 40, 41. 

Geological formations, facing p. 59. 

Gold exported, 31. 

Norms and quantitative classification, 107. 

Proved and profitable coal, 181, 183. 

Rainfall, 6. 

Rock-analyses, 106, 128. 
Tables, gold-saving, 25, 26, 28, 119. 
Talc, 103, 106, 195. 
Talus, 59, 60, 76, 77, 93, 95. {See also Pluvial 

Tasman, Abel Jansen, 2. 
Tatton, J. W., 10. 
Tauranga Bay — 

Boring near, 186, 187. 

Lignite of, 1J6-77. 

Supposed erratics near, 93. 
Tectonic movement?, 47, 48, 49, 52 et seq., 60, 61 

et seq., 74, 75, 84, 88, 130. 
Tectonic trough, valley, 47, 48, 52, 63. 
Terraces, 51 et neq., 94, 113 et seq. 

Black-sand leads in, 52, 114 e> seq. 

Inland, 53. 

Leads at base of, 120. 

Marine, 51-52, 114, et seq. 

Older and high-level, 51-52, 94, 113 et seq. 
Terrestrial deposits, 59. (See also Hawk's Crag 

breccia; Brunner beds, &.c.) 
Tertiary rocks, 59, 73-93, 96, 112-13, 130 et seq. 

(See also Coal-measures ; Oamaru Series.) 
Thallium, 195. 
Three-channel Flat — 

Gold-dredging near, 27, 28. 

Nuggets near, 120. 
Thomson, J. A., 22, 92, 104. 
Tichborne Creek, quartz lode and geology of. 111, 

Tiger pakihi (Maokley), 153. 
Tilting of faulted blocks, &c., 48, 50, 52, 62, 74, 75, 

84, 88, 130. 
Timber, 2, 9, 

Buried, 25. 
Tin, stream, 112, 122-23, 191-92, 195. 
Tio Creek, 197. 

Tiroroa Reach (Bulhi), 66. 75, 76. 
Titanite (sphcne), 99, 103, 107, 195. 
Todea Crock. [See Cascade Creek, Kawatiri 

Survev District). 
Topaz, 195. ' 
Totara River, 56. 

Tourmaline, 70 (footnote), 98, 09, 100, 102, 195. 
Townson Tarn, 49, 57. 
Townson, W., 3, 4, 20. 
Transport of coal, 37, 38-39. 
Tremolite, 103, 106, 105. 
Trias-Jura rocks, 68, (iO. 
Triassic rocks, supposed, 68, 72. 
Trough, tectonic, 47, 48, 52, 63. 
Trout, 3. 

Trowbridge, A.|,C., 97 (footnote). 
Trucks or tubs, coal, 37. 
Twins Gold-mining Company, 30. 


Uplift of land. (See Elevation.) 
Unconformities, 13, 58, 73, 77, 82, 85, 87-88, 93, 
95, 166, 174. 

Difficult to detect, 166, 174. 
Unconformity — 

Local, 87. 

Between Pleistocene and Miocene, 58, 93, 95, 

Between Miocene and Eocene, 13, 78, 82, 87-88. 

Between Eocene and pre-Tertiary, 58, 166. 

Possible, above Hawk's Crag breccia, 73, 77. 
Underground watercourses, 57. 
Undulose or shadow-extinction, 99, 102. 
Uralite, 104. 195. 
U-shaped valleys, 48, 49, 93. 

Valley, tectonic, 47, 48, 52, 54, 63. 
Valleys, ancient, 55, 85. 
Vaughan, Mount, 48. 
Veins, metalliferous, 109-12. 

Origin of, 112. 
Victory lode, 30, 110-11. 
Virgin Flat lead, 115. 
Von Haast, Julixis. (;See Haast, Julius von. 


Waimangaroa Coal-mine (Haylock and Young's), 

33, 168, 192-93. 
Waimangaroa, horizon of Miocene beds at, 92. 
Waimangaroa, Lower, geoloffy and coal of, &c., 68, 
75, 78, 79, 89 et seq.^^l, 100, 102, 109, 110, 
114, 167-68, 181 etseq., 186, 187, 188. 
Waimangaroa River, 9, 11, 54. 

Alluvial gold of, 11, 121. 

Coal of, 31, 32, 161 et seq., 167 et seq. 

Coal discovered in, 31. 

Gold-dredging Company. &c., 26. 

Gorge of, 9, 11, 54. 

Quartz-mining near, 29, 30, 110, 111. 

Water-power of, 189. 
Waimangaroa Series, 59, 71 , 74. (See also CocJ- 

Waimangaroa, Upper, coal and geology of, 93, 07, 

161-65, 166, 181 et seq. 
Waimangaroa Village, -^oal near, &c., 167-68, 198. 
(See also Dennistou ; Burnett's Face ; Coal- 
brookdale, &c.) 
Waitakcre Coal-mine, 42. 
Waitakere or Nile River, 8, 31, 56. 

Coal discovered near, 31. 
Waitnhu Valley (Reefton), breccia of, 73, 77. 
Wareatea* (Wlianatea) Dredge, 26. 
Warping, 74, 75, 78, 84. ' . 

Warne's pit (Charleston), 175. 
Water-balance, 25. 
Watercourses, undergroinid, 57. 
Waterfalls. 56-.57. • 

Water, mineral, 57. 105, 198. 
Water resources, water-power. 189. 
Water-wheels, 189. 
Wave-cut benches. 25. 
Wave-cut margins of terrac<'s. 51. 
Weathering of — 

Coal, 86, 140-41. 

Rocks, &o., 70, 97. 

• This is the spelling of tho official records. The naino Is more correctly spelt " Wlwreatoiv." 


Webb, E. J. H., 58, 62, 63, 68, 71, 83, 95. 

WebbCreek, coalof, 163. 

Webb fault, 65. 

Weka, 3. 

Welcome Gold-dredging Company, &c., 27, 28. 

Wellington Coal-mine, 14, .32, 33", 35, 40, 41, i92. 

" West " of South Island, 47, 82. {See al'so 

West Creek, geology of, &c., 100, 169, 186. 
Westenra's or Cook's Lease, 35, 164, 165, 187. 
Western Australia, altered amplubolitcs oi, 104. 
Westland, North, 59, 68, 71, 73, 74, 85, 96, 97, 104, 

112, 113, 121, 122, 133. 
Westport-CardifE Coal Company and mine, 33-34, 

35,40,41, 143, 144. 
Westport Coal Company and mines, 2, 32-33, 36, 
37 et seg., 154, 164, 165, 186. 

Boring by, 84, 88, 186. 
Westport Colliery Company, 2, 32-33. 
Westport Co-operative Coal Company, 34, 40, 41. 
Westport district, coal of, &c. {See Coal.) 
Westport earth-block, 50. 
Westport flats — 

Boring on, 84, 88, 186-87, 188. 

Possible coal of, 42, 43, 187-88. 
Westport Harbour, 7, 8, 58. 
Westport Harbour Board, 8, 46, 58, 186, 187. 

Boring by, 186-87. 

Quarries of, 46. 
Westport-Ngakawau or -Wallsend Company, 33, 

Westport-Stockton Coal Company, &c., 34 et i-erj., 
154, 160. 

Boring by, 160, 186. 
Westport Terraces. (See Fairdown Terraces.) 
Westport, town of, 6, 7. 
Whareatea Dredge. (See Wareatea.) 

Whareatea River — 

AUuvialgold of, 116, 118. 

Coalof, 167. 
Whitebait or inanga, 3, 9. 
Whitecliffs Gold-dredging Company, 27. 
AVhitehorn, H. S., 2. 
William, Mount, 48, 170. 

Coal and geology of, 77, 170. 
William fault. Mount. {See Mount William fault.) 
William Range, Mount. (See Mount William 

Wilson, G., 116. 
Wilson Saddle, coal near, 170. 
Wilson's lead, 115. 
Wolframite, 196. 
Wollastonite, 196. 

Wood, carbonized fragments of, 85, 90. 
" Woodsands " of Amuri BlufE, 74. 
AVorley, R. P., 2. 
Worley, W. F., 90. 

Wright or Coal Creek (Kawatiri Survey Di.strict), 
coalof, &c., 75, 169, 198. 

Yormg and Haylock's Mine. {See Waimangaroa 


Zenoliths, 97, 101. {See also Quartz-porphyry, 

inclusions in.) 
Zircon, 99, 100, 102, 103, 115, 116, 117, 196. 
Zones, fault or shearing, 101. 
Zulu Creek, coal in, 177. 

By Authority : John Mackay, Government Printer. Wellington. 



Coal (thick) 

_, J^ 'Possible tiny fault 

ThroM Zft. ■' 

Fig. I 

Mangatini Roll Fault , as seen near Mangatini . 
The section is partly ideal 

Fig. 2 

Reversed Faults near Westport- Stockton bndge. 
between B » C tunnels 

Coarse sarnj&tone 
4- -5 in dark c/o. 

£ft coa/ (weathered ) 

Z ft. dark shah 

25 ft friable coaf 
Dark shale 

Fig. 3 A 
Section at S60lc on ridge 
Syi of Chasm Creek. 


lO in. sandstone 
lOln. shaly sent/stone 

8 ft coal 


Coarse sandstone 

Fig. SB 
Section at GISft on ridge 
Sty of Chasm Creek. 



soft, coarse 
sandstone and 
^grit, with small 
shale bands 

24 n. grit 
*& in. dark sana 

-,...»^„,.. dstone 

^&in. micaceous' sandy shale 

8 ft. coal 
StriAe ego' 
Dip ' in ^toS. 

iin. soft carbonaceous layer 
Sft.shale vvith sandstone fens 

I ft to lift coal 
6ft sandstone 

Shaly layer 

Fig. 4 

South bank of Chasm Creek 
near Dove's Drive 


7ft coal with 

3 in. shaly band 
thickenina up 

Water level 

Dark shale 
I ft. Sin. coal 

III 7 in. shale and 

Zft.lOin. coal 
3 in shale 
Zi ft. grit 

~ Shale 

Fig. 4^ A 

Chasm Creek 
SOchs abo^e Y.S.P.E.Coy's 
tram bridge 

Fig 4B 

Chasm Creek 
I ch. above section 4- A 

G.E H. 

tSfi. coal 

lOin.ta Zin. soft sha/e ('dirt 'J 

ZitoZ-ft coel lO'm.soft shale ("dirt") 

Ig ft coal 


: Grit 



Y.S.P.E. Cos tram line near 

Mokihinu) Mine. 
About Srt Sin coal and I ft 
dirt bands. 




and S^'^ 


Sin. coal 

22 ft alternating 
and grit 

lift grit 


2 ft sandstone 


2fi coal 


(upper seam) 


lOin. shale 


Fig. 6 

Charming Creek 
a little below N? I Bore 


I0-I2ln.dark shale 

9 in. coal 
2-3 in. shale 
7 in. coal 
Sin. carbonaceous shale 

Micaceous shale 

Fig. 7 A 

Section 2^ miles above 
mouth of Blackburn F. 

60 to 70 rt madstone 

Shaly mudstone 


Irregular roof 

I Coal over lOftthich 
floor not seen 

Fig 7B 

Near Blackburn /?. 
<5 feiv chains above section 7 A 


Gran/'te Congh- Grit Shale Coa/ Gr)t Ye/fow sdste \ Sgndstone with dark 
( ^ne/ssic) -merate fGft with smalt J sandy rm/dstone layers 

crushed shaly layers Str. 135" dip 40' 

Mudstone (marine) Mudstone and 
apparently sandstone with 
faulted. g^'tty layers 

Fig. 8 

Idealized section, south bank of N^akawau f^tver, belovv Mine Creek Junction. 

sd&te s- 


Grit (many leetj 

(with a little shale) 
{6 in. coal 
vifith two Ony shale bands 

Shale, underlain 
by grit 

Shale i 

F/g. 9 A 

Section on west side of l^angatini Creek gorge, 
about 1100 feet above sea -level, sfionving grit 
and sandstone lenses in small coal seam. 

6/h gr'ftty 

t in coaf 
Z./i shale 
with a little 
coaly matter 
in Sin grit 
and sandstone 


Fig. 9B 
Section on west side of 
Mangatini Creek gorge, a 
few chains above sec. 9A 


Thin shale 
and sandstone 


g Shaly sandstone 

Fig. 9 
Section on east side of Mangatini Creek gorge, 
a few chains above sect/on 9B 



iZ ^ coarse ssndstone 

Fig JO 

Near Mangatin'i 
township on soutit 
side of Ivlangatini 

24 ft clean coal 

Dark shale 



B ft sandstone 
thinning to A". 
^ thickening to S, 

I ft sandstone 

Oyer 7fi coal 
floor not visible 

Fig. ilA 
Section near tVestport-Stocifton 
D tunnel 

,iii,>\iii.,i|i,.ii /^,ii// 

3S ft grit 

Gft shale 
with several 
tiny coal layers 

Over 10 ft coal 

Z ftyellorv sandstone 
6 ft grit 

Fig. II B 
Section 2 chains north 
of section IlA 



eft grit 

Gin sandston^ 
B ft grit 
Z^ft coal 

IZ ft coal 

Seam ) 
not seen 

Grit to 

Fig. 12 A 
Section a few chains NW of coal island near T3I Creek, 
eastern part of yVestport -Stockton Lease. 

3 ft coal 

''■'y^^i'i-'^^m/hHlV t'k'C'WI ■■>'ll". '."Jl'.IW^^ 

^ — about I chain 

Section at A-B 

Ficf. 12 B 

10 ft grit ^ 

3 . coal 
li. shale 

10 . or more of coal 

Section tivo or three chains south of •Section 12 A. 
Vertical scale slightly exaggerated . 



3 ft coal . . 

iMangatini SeamJ 
6/n. sha/e 

3 ft sandstone 
thickening very 
rapidly to W. 

6 ft coat 
{Matipo Seam) 
Floor not visible 


10 ft grit 

J ft coal 
(Mangatini SesnjJ 

5 ft shale and sandstone 

rapidly to tV. 

7 ft coal 
{Matipo Seam) 

Floor not visible 

Fig. IZC 

Section a few chains 
north of section IZA 

Fig. IZD 

Section about 60ft 
east of section IZC. 

3fh (Jpoer cob/ seam 
6fi shale # shaly sdste ^§ 
40 ft gnti> sandstone ^^ic' 
currant bedded 
Lower coal seam 

/ Vothlnff visible 

about 7 chains 

Fig. 12 £ 
(generalized section, including sections 12 C & 12 D. 


Alternating sandstone 
1 c * ■ • ■ ' - ' ' -^-s.^^ and grit to surface 

to ft grit 

Zz ft coal, thicker to W. 
thinner to E. 

5 ft shaly sandstone 
thicker to W. 
thinner to E. 

ISfl cJean coal 

IB ft shale 

30 ft coarse grit 

Fig. 13 

Section in upper Fly Creek 


About 100 ft 
coarse and 
fine sandstone 

n ft coal 
floor not seen 

Water leve/ 

Fig. 14 
Section on east bank of Waimangaroa River, near Cooks Lease 




ZS ft grit 

8ft sancfstone 

2 ft coal 

4 ft sha{y rock 

/i /? fine 
sandstone and shale 

Thick coal, 
floor not seen 

3 ft coal 

^?^^j:^-S~~-Z'-'-~'--'^''-~-~~''--'-'- ^^^ sandstone. 

Z ft grit 

3 ft sha/e 

3 ft sandstone 

eft grit 
Shale, thin 


F/g. fSA 
Section near iron bridge, 
Burnett's Face. 

Fig. /SB 

Sect/on a few chains to the S£ 
of section ISA. 

Fine sandstone 

Fine sandstone 
Coarse sandstone 


'•C sandstone 

Fig. IG B 

Current bedding 
near section 16 A. 

Sft shale 

12 ft coarse grit 

10 ft sandstone 
and shale 

Coal, floor not seen 

Fig. fGA 
Current bedding, road cutting east of Burnett's Face 


Soif and gravel 
Z ft shale 
G in. lignite 

f-i fi shale 

la ft lignite 
I'Un. shale 

3-4 H lignite 

to south 

Light coloured 



Son white rock 

Ffg. /7 

Section 1^ miles 
south of Charleston 

^^_'' *■ »' , * '• Soil and gravel 

Light coloured shale 

\S-6ft coal 

light coloured 

I Z-3 fi coal 

Several feet 
of shale 

Current bedded 
and grit 

Thin conglomerate 
Gneiss and granite 

f/ff. ISA 

Section near Constant Bay 

6 ft soft grit 

Coal vjith 
three shale bands 
'thinning out to 5, 

2lt shaly material 
2fl lignite 

and sandstone 

6 ft lignite 

I fh shaly material 
I ft lignite 

8 ft soft grit 
passing donvnuvard 
into conglonierate 

Fig. 18 B 
Section a few chains N. of section I8A 


7516 C03 

University of